Statistiken der Legende

Biographie der Legende

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350cc, 500cc, 250cc





Geschichte der Legende

A star of the late 1950s, when he dominated the ‘big classes’, Englishman John Surtees remains the only person to have won the motorcycling World Championship and Formula One titles.

His achievements on two wheels were remarkable in their own right and he departed from Grand Prix racing on two wheels at the start of the '60s to try his hand at driving at the age of 26, having been double World Champion for three consecutive seasons from 1958-1960, in the 350cc and 500cc classes.

Born into a family with a tradition of motorcycle racing, Surtees infamously won a race with his father as a sidecar passenger when he was just 14 years old, only for their victory to be subsequently nullified when his age was discovered.

Three years later, in 1951, Surtees caused a sensation in front of thousands of spectators as a 17 year old apprentice who gave the great Geoff Duke a run for his money in an ACU International Meeting in Thruxton. Duke came out on top on that occasion, but Surtees was en route to stardom himself.

He made his first World Championship appearances onboard Norton machinery but by 1956 the brand was experiencing financial difficulties and Surtees moved to the mighty MV Agusta marque, with whom he was to enjoy a highly successful relationship.

Indeed in his first season with MV Agusta Surtees won the 500cc ’56 World Championship, though he was aided by the fact that Duke had been suspended from competing by the FIM for six months due to his support for a riders’ strike. In 1957 Surtees was unable to defend his title, finishing third in the premier class.

However, in 1958 he bounced back in style, winning every 500cc and 350cc Grand Prix he competed in, to become a double World Champion for the first time. Surtees repeated that feat the following season as he made the most of his powerful MV Agusta machinery.

Although he was not undefeated in his final World Championship season in 1960, he retained both of his crowns, to make it six title triumphs in three years. Furthermore, that season also saw him become the first rider ever to win the Isle of Man TT Senior race three years in succession, before his departure to Formula One.

His 1964 F1 championship win with Ferrari gave him the honour of becoming the first World Champion on both two wheels and four – a feat that has not been repeated to this day.