BMW in the world

TT racing (1960 on)

For the 1960 Isle of Man TT races the Sidecar TT Race returned to the Snaefell Mountain Course for the first-time since 1925, along with the Ultra-Lightweight and Lightweight classes with the abandonment of TT racing on the Clypse Course. A number of changes occurred to the Mountain Course during the 1960s with further road widening at Ballig Bridge and at Greeba Bridge. Other safety features included the introduction of a safety helicopter for the 1963 Isle of Man TT races and was used for the first-time when Tony Godfrey crashed at the exit to Milntown Cottages during the 1963 Lightweight TT race.[27] Despite problems with the sidecar class, the winner of the 1960 Sidecar TT race was Helmut Fath riding a BMW outfit at an average speed of 84.40 mph. The 1962 Isle of Man TT races produced the first winner of the newly introduced 50 cc Ultra-Lightweight race when Ernst Degner won the 2-lap race (75.46 miles) for Suzuki at an average speed of 75.12 mph. This was followed with Mitsuo Itoh becoming the first Japanese winner of an Isle of Man TT Race winning the 50 cc Ultra-Lightweight TT race again for Suzuki in 1963.[28] For the Diamond Jubilee race in 1967 the Production TT races were introduced consisting of three races; a 250 cc, a 500 cc, and a 750 cc run at the same time but each having a separate "Le Mans" start at 5 minutes after each other.[29] John Hartle was the winner of the first 750 cc production class at an average race speed of 91.40 mph riding a Triumph Thruxton Bonneville.[30] The 250 cc class was controversial due to the use of racing exhausts by the Bultaco team. In the 1968 Isle of Man TT races the Production race rules were changed. But the changes the winner, and 2nd placed man, of 250 cc Production race were under protest and were excluded for the same offence (using a racing exhaust) but later reinstated on appeal by the R.A.C.because of the lack of an official translation of the law in Spain on the subject of silencing. 1968 was also the last year of the 50 cc Ultra-Lightweight class with Australian Barry Smith winning for Derbi at an average speed of 72.90 mph. The first non-championship event for sidecars not exceeding 750 cc was introduced in 1968 and won by Terry Vinicombe riding a BSA sidecar outfit.[31] The 1969 Production TT races were honoured by the presence of the Duke of Edinburgh as starter. The race went off without any controversy with a new set of rules being strictly enforced and were therefore probably the first eally fair production races. The result was a 750 cc race in which Malcolm Uphill twice topped the 100-mph lap on the works Triumph Bonneville and set an average race speed of 99.99 mph. The 500 cc and 250 cc classes provided their own dramas with Graham Penny bringing his 450 cc Honda home first after the leader Tony Dunnell on a three-cylinder Kawasaki crashed.[32] The 250 race had a fresh leader on each lap ending with Mike Rogers taking the laurels on his 250 cc Ducati Mach 1 giving Ducati their first Isle of Man win. From 1949 to 1976 the race was part of the Motorcycle Grand Prix World Championship and was the home of the British Grand Prix.[33] The event came under increasing scrutiny due to safety concerns despite efforts by the ACU to retain its world championship status. When Italian rider Gilberto Parlotti was killed during the 1972 TT, his close friend and the reigning world champion and 10-time TT winner Giacomo Agostini, announced that he would never again race on the Isle of Man.[33] More riders joined Agostini's boycott and by the 1976 season, only a handful of serious Grand Prix riders were among the entrants.[33] Shortly after the 1976 TT, the FIM made the long-anticipated announcement that the TT, once the most prestigious race on the Grand Prix calendar, was stripped of its world championship status.[33] The Grand Prix action was moved to the UK with the 1977 British Grand Prix being held at Silverstone.[33] TTXGP bikes in the paddock before their first practice session in the 2009 TT In the early 21st century, the premier TT racing bikes complete the Snaefell course at an average speed exceeding 120 mph (190 km/h). Record holders include David Jefferies who set a lap record of 127.29 mph (204.85 km/h) in 2002. This was surpassed by John McGuinness during the 2004 TT on a Yamaha R1 setting a time of 17 min 43.8 s; an average lap speed of 127.68 mph (205.48 km/h). McGuinness lowered this even further at the 2007 TT, setting a time of 17:21.99 for an average speed of 130.354 mph (209.784 km/h) becoming the first rider to break the 130 mph limit on the Snaefell Mountain circuit. The most successful rider was Joey Dunlop who won 26 times in various classes from 1977 to 2000. For 2009, the Manx government added a new event to the June race schedule. The Time Trial eXtreme Grand Prix (TTXGP) was billed as the first zero-emissions motorcycle race. While any technology could enter, as a practical matter zero emissions means electric.