The 120mph Club

Since the TT began riders have been striving to attain goals whether it be personal or professional.

It is now 44 years since Bob McIntyre broke the magical 100mph barrier but lapping at these speeds today, whilst nonetheless admirable, will only achieve a position at the end of the results sheet.

Indeed at the 2000 TT the last finishers were averaging over 100mph, truly amazing. When John Williams became the first rider to lap at 110mph plus in 1976 few would have believed we'd be seeing the speeds of today. The benchmark for riders now is 120mph, if you're lapping at those speeds you're going to be in with a shout of victory for the bigger capacity classes.

But how many people have achieved this over the years? We all know that Steve Hislop and Brian Morrison were the first riders to crack the 120mph barrier in 1989, but now they have been joined by a further 27 riders with numerous others knocking at the door, Joey himself achieving the feat no less than 32 times.

Looking at the list, we can see a wealth of talent and TT greats. Can you remember them all?

RiderSpeed YearNo. of laps over 120mph
David Jefferies125.69mph200018
Jim Moodie124.45199911
Michael Rutter 123.95200016
Joey Dunlop123.87200032
Iain Duffus123.87200013
Carl Fogarty123.61199212
Steve Hislop123.5199231
Ian Simpson123.2819988
Phillip McCallen122.98199729
Ian Lougher122.93199915
Simon Beck122.7119977
Bob Jackson122.6519987
James Courtney122.5119987
Nigel Davies121.8519995
Adrian Archibald121.7820005
Steve Ward121.7319952
Brian Morrison121.6419917
Alan Bennallick121.5419991
Robert Dunlop121.5319924
Nick Jefferies121.5119958
Derek Young121.4819971
John McGuinness121.4200011
Blair Degerholm121.3519991
Jason Griffiths121.2519998
Marc Flynn120.6619973
Mark Farmer120.6519923
Lee Pullan120.2819961
Robert Holden120.2519952
Trevor Nation120.0919911

It is interesting to note that their are only two "foreigners" in the chart these being the New Zealanders Blair Degerholm and the late Robert Holden.

With this years races being cancelled, will 2002 see reduced speeds as riders re-familarise themselves with the Mountain Course or will they be "champing at the bit" to tear round the famous track.

Riders of the calibre of Carl Rennie and Gordon Blackley only need to shave a few seconds off their times to become a member of this elite group. Laps at over 120mph have been recorded in the Senior, Formula 1, Junior (600cc) and Production events.

Phil Wain

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