A brief biography ......
2nd April 1940 - 23rd March 1981
Considered to be the 'best motorcycle
racer ever' by experts the world over, Mike Hailwood
is a legend to which others can only aspire to. He
won his first World Championship at the age of twenty
one. He won nine World Championships, 76 Grand Prix
wins and fourteen T.T Races on the notoriously dangerous
Isle of Man course. He was revered for his outstanding
talent and versatility, he was a true sportsman, charismatic
yet unassuming, he loved music and had a huge sense
of fun. In 1968 he was awarded the British Empire
Medal for his services to the sport.
When there was nothing left to prove on
two wheels, he turned to motor racing. In his first full
year of motor racing he finished third in the Formula 5000
Championship and third in the famous 24 hour race at Le
Mans. He went on to win the Formula Two European Championship
for the Surtees team, then moved into Formula One. He was
awarded The George Medal, Britain's highest award for civilian
bravery, for his heroic rescue of Clay Regazzoni who was
trapped and unconcious in his burning car after crashing
in the 1973 South African F1 Grand Prix. Standing in burning
fuel tanks, Mike released the drivers seat belts and tried
to pull him free. Mike caught fire himself, he extinguished
his own flames, then went back into the fire for Clay. Mike's
Formula 1 career ended in 1974 whilst driving for the Mclaren
team when he sustained severe leg and foot injuries after
crashing at Nurburgring. He had been lying fourth in the
In 1978, after an eleven year retirement
from bikes, he made a fairytale 'comeback' to win another
Isle of Man T.T. and with it, his 10th World Championship.
Following a car accident near Birmingham, England in which
his nine year old daughter Michelle was killed instantly;
Mike and David were taken to hospital, where Mike died two
days later on 23rd March 1981.
Mike has been the
subject of at least seven books, including the recently
published 'Mike Hailwood, A Motorcycle Legend' by
Mick Woollett (Haynes). He has also co-authored several
reference books and is the most 'written about' rider
of all time. He has been voted 'Motorcyclist of the
Millennium' by leading motorcycle publications "Motor
Cycle News" of Britain and "Motociclismo"
of Spain. Since July 2000 Mike was inducted into the
American Motorcyclist Association's Hall of Fame;
The International MotorSports Hall of Fame, and the
prestigious MotoGP 'Legends' Hall of Fame.
Due to his illustrious career
and achievements, Mike Hailwood remains motorcycle
racing's most durable and revered legend. He has been
described as the "Babe Ruth of motorcycle racing,"
"an icon of racing, just as James Dean and Marilyn
Monroe are icons of pop culture," and one hell
of a guy.
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