Mike Hailwood ®
The greatest
motorcycle racer of all time 1940-1981

Tick-Clocks are an official licensee of the Estate of Mike Hailwood ®. MIKE HAILWOOD and MIKE THE BIKE are trademarks of the Estate of Mike Hailwood in the United States, England, Spain and other countries.

Mike Hailwood

Stanley Michael Bailey Hailwood, MBE, GM (April 2, 1940 – March 23, 1981) was a British Grand Prix motorcycle road racer regarded by many as one of the greatest racers of all time. He was known as "Mike The Bike" because of his natural riding ability. Later in his career he went on to compete in Formula One auto racing, becoming one of the few men to compete at the Grand Prix level on motorcycles and in auto racing.

Mike Hailwood was born at Great Milton in Oxfordshire, His father, who also raced in the pre-World War II era, owned a large motorcycle distributorship and young Hailwood was raised in relative affluence. He began riding at an early age, starting on a minibike as a small boy. He learned to ride in an eight-acre field near his home and wore an oval track from the constant laps he rode on Sunday afternoons after church. He was educated at Pangbourne College, but left early and worked for a short time in the family business before his father sent him to work at Triumph motorcycles.

Hailwood first raced on 22 April 1957, at Oulton Park. Barely 17, he finished in 11th place, but was soon winning on a regular basis. By 1961, Hailwood was racing for a Japanese upstart factory named Honda. Riding a four-stroke, four-cylinder 250cc Honda, Hailwood won the 1961 250cc world championship. In 1962, Hailwood signed with MV Agusta and went on to become the first rider to win four consecutive 500cc World Championships. After his success with MV Agusta, Hailwood went back to Honda and won four more world titles in 1966 and 1967 in the 250cc and 350cc categories.

Hailwood is perhaps best known for his accomplishments at the renowned Isle of Man TT. By 1967, he had won 12 times on the infamous island mountain course. He won what many historians consider to be the most dramatic Isle of Man race of all time, the 1967 Senior TT against his great rival, Giacomo Agostini.

In 1968, Honda pulled out of Grand Prix racing, but paid Hailwood not to ride in expectation of keeping him as its rider upon return to competition. But Hailwood would never return to motorcycle racing on a full-time basis, instead electing to pursue a career in auto racing.

While he never attained the success in cars that he had on motorcycles, Hailwood became a respected driver in Formula One and World Sports Cars. He won the 1972 Formula Two European title and earned a podium finish at the 24 Hours of LeMans. He participated in 50 Formula One Grands Prix, debuting in the British Grand Prix on July 20, 1963. He achieved two podium finishes, and scored a total of 29 championship points. Hailwood earned the admiration of fans and fellow drivers when in the 1973 South African Grand Prix, he stopped his car on the circuit to pull Clay Regazzoni from his burning car after an accident, an act for which he was awarded the George Medal, the 2nd highest gallantry award that a British civilian can be awarded. He left Formula One after being injured at the 1974 German Grand Prix at the Nürburgring.

In 1978, after an 11 year hiatus from motorcycling, Hailwood performed a now legendary comeback at the Isle of Man TT. Few observers believed the 38 year old would be competitive after such a long absence. Riding on a Ducati 900SS, he was not only competitive, but managed a hugely popular win. He raced the following year at the Isle of Man TT before retiring for good at the age of 39. He retired with 76 Grand Prix victories, 14 Isle of Man TT wins and 9 World Championships.

He was awarded the Segrave Trophy in 1979.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Mike Hailwood".

Visit the official website of Mike Hailwood at www.mikethebike.com - designed and maintained by Biker-Gifts.

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Mike Hailwood

Biker-Gifts are official licensees to the estate of Mike Hailwood ®

The Mike The Bike ® gifts have now been extended to include a fabulous range of products bearing his name and now include bookmarks, pin badges, sculptures and limited edition prints.

Tick-Clocks are an official licensee of the Estate of Mike Hailwood ®. MIKE HAILWOOD and MIKE THE BIKE are trademarks of the Estate of Mike Hailwood in the United States, England, Spain and other countries.

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