Friday, August 16, 2019

Winningest TT riders

Back on 14 Dec., 2012, I posted on this blog about the winningest riders at the IOM TT, tracing the the title from Alec Bennett to Stanley Woods to Mike Hailwood to Joey Dunlop to John McGuiness.
I also commented on these and other rider's percentage of wins to starts and said that Hailwood lays claim to being the greatest TT rider having won 40% of the races he started.  I didn't check every rider's win percentage and there may be a rider who only raced once and won or even twice and won once, thereby eclipsing Hailwood's 40%, though I doubt it.  But, in anticipation of spending a few days with Giacomo Agostini at the Classic TT, where we're both riding Team Obsolete bikes in the Lap of Honour, I reviewed Ago's TT record.  Ago raced in 16 TTs over an eight year period and won 10 of them, a 62.5% win to start ratio.  Yes, Ago had superior equipment during this period, but it's still an incredibly win ratio.  In his first year at the IOM, 1965, he DNFed in the Senior TT, which his teammate Hailwood won, and Hailwood DNFed in the Junior TT, while Ago finished 3rd behind Redman and Read.  The next year, Ago started winning.  And while it may have been a relative cruise in some of his 10 wins, he averaged winning by almost 7min. in those 10 races.  He only raced in the Junior and Senior TTs and won both in '68, '69, '70, and '72.  He would probably be the first to say that Hailwood was the best, but Ago certainly ranks up with Woods, Dunlop and McGuiness.