In 1961 MV failed to win a single race and to the delight of British fans, Norton won two. Mike Hailwood was in supreme form and became the first rider in the history of the Isle of Man TT to win three races in one week.
Although MV had withdrawn from Grand Prix racing, they provided Gary Hocking with ‘private machines’ for the Senior and Junior, but incredibly it was the single-cylinder Nortons that stole the glory.
Hocking stormed away early on in the Senior Race on the MV and by the end of the third lap, led the ‘singles’ brigade headed by Hailwood’s Manx Norton. The Rhodesian then made a long pit stop to try and rectify a sticking throttle, returning to the fray down in fifth place.
He was forced to retire at the end of the fifth lap when the throttle stuck wide open again and Hailwood went on to win from Bob McIntyre and the Norton Domiracer twin of Tom Phillis. Mike’s stunning race average of 100.60mph was the first at over the hundred mark achieved on a single-cylinder machine.