It is nice to see the photograph Nick Nicholls took at the start of the 125cc TT in 1961. And it is nice too, to have mentioned most of the riders, some of them getting fame later on.
But it’s a pity, as the two most important riders of that class and that year are not mentioned. At the front of the right queue, bending over his machine, that’s Ernst Degner with his MZ RE, who led the championship that year till the Swedish GP at Kristianstad, where his engine got damaged.
That was luck for the man standing straight behind him in that photo shown in CR.
That’s Tom Phillis, with his Honda, who could make use of Degner’s breakdown at Sweden and the fact that Degner’s start with an EMC at the following race in South America was sabotaged by the East Germans.
Thus Phillis got the crown and that was Honda’s first title in the World Championship. Great memories!
Read more Letters, Opinion, News and Features in the January/February 2020 issue of Classic Racer – on sale now!