| Mike Hailwood
John Hartle and Mike Hailwood
The 1963 TT saw the return of the four-cylinder works Gileras to the
Island for the first time since Bob McIntyre set the first 100mph lap on
one in winning the 1957 Golden Jubilee TT. Geoff Duke managed the two-
man team of John Hartle and Phil Read in 1963, and John set very
respectable times during practice.
Come the Senior race and John was riding number 4 with Mike Hailwood
starting 10 seconds behind him at number 5. Our photograph shows them on
the approach to Governors Bridge towards the end of the first lap, and
Mike has obviously reduced the deficit to about one second. As the pair
screamed past the Grandstand and down Bray Hill with their eight
cylinders wailing, Mike sat tight on the Gilera's tail. It was a classic
Mike Hailwood tactic of being able to take his time and wait for the
right moment to pass.
Anyone fortunate to see him in his prime (or to see photographs of him)
will know that he always seemed to be at his most relaxed when sitting
tight on someone's tail. His riding position became almost upright and
casual and must have disconcerted many a hard-pressed rider who looked
behind to see the maestro apparently cruising astern.
Soon after the photograph Mike moved ahead and into the lead. He
finished in first place, just over a minute in front of John Hartle,
with Phil Read bringing the other Gilera into third spot, another four
minutes in arrears.