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THE 1968 Isle of Man 50cc Ultralightweight TT Race
Motor Cyclist Illustrated – 1968 50cc TT (with some additions and photographs by the Editor of the History Site)
WITH only 33 starters out of an entry of 38, the 50 cc T.T. had a mass start on the morning of Monday, June 10 1968. It was 11.04 a.m. on a fine sunny morning – the start having been delayed until the last "course clear" signal came in from Ballaugh, on the far side of the circuit. Just over one and a half hours later. Barry Smith from Australia notched his first T.T. victory — and a first, too for the little Derbi factory. Much later still, the last of 13 survivors was over-taken at Ramsay by the course-opening car and decided that T.T. racing was not for him.
In the absence of even one works Suzuki, it looked as if the works Derbi ridden by Angel Nieto (No. 4 in the photo above) or the one on which Harry Thompson, the Spa motorcycle dealer, had entered Barry Smith (No.1 in the photo above) would be the winner. Although not at the shattering over-80 mph averages that the factory Suzuki’s and Hondas could achieve.
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Nieto, pictured below, spoilt his chances by coming off at the bottom of the fast descent from Baarregarroo cross-road, only 13 miles out, and breaking an ankle. So it was left to Barry Smith to set the pace.
As the Aussie pulled farther and farther ahead, there was a duel behind him for second place between evenly matched Brian Gleed and Chris Walpole and 
another battle for fourth place between David Lock and Stan Lawley, all of them on "boy racer" Hondas - as also were Ernest Griffiths, Jim Pink and Trevor Payne, the next in the line, Allan Robinson, on a lone Suzuki, who was running ninth.
For nearly two laps Gleed and Walpole raced wheel to wheel, then Gleed's engine seized as he was leading his rival into Signpost Corner and, after taking hectic avoiding action, Walpole was running second and Gleed was nursing his machine home to retire at the pits.
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Chris Walpole No. 11, Brian Gleed No. 6 and David Lock No. 12 lead the mass start down Bray Hill all three are riding the HONDA CR110 "Boy Racer" 
By then Barry Smith was some seven minutes ahead. Lawley was being slowed by plug trouble and a tendency for his motor to seize and Griffiths had closed on Lock to challenge him for what would now be third place. Seizures accounted for most of the retirements that were occurring but Robinson, looking set for a sixth place finish, had his Suzuki run out of petrol halfway round the third and final lap.
So the race ended with a clear-cut win for Barry Smith with Chris Walpole second nearly 8 minutes later and with 54 year old Griffiths out pacing Lock on the last lap to take third place in his last Isle of Man ride. Second to seventh places went to riders of Honda CR110, over-the-counter racers.
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David Lock - Honda CR110
Barrie Smith - 50cc DERBI
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Harold Cosgrove - Foster Kreidler
A G Hutchings
Nick Mayo - Heldun Hawk
Search your cupboards, draws and Photo Albums for any other information that could be added and pass it on to the Editor.
I hope you enjoy the read.
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Return to the T.T. Index page
1968 | 50cc | TT
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