Seventy-four years ago, in such a different world, it was dry and clear as 100 350cc riders lined up on Glencrutchery Road. June 13th, 1949, and the birth of a dream. The very first Grand Prix: seven laps and 425 kms of the legendary Mountain circuit in the Isle of Man. Just four years after the end of the Second World War, the FIM launched the motorcycle Grand Prix World Championship one year ahead of their four-wheel counterparts. Four solo classes; 125, 250, 350 and 500, plus of course sidecars, and at European venues Berne, Assen, Spa-Francorchamps, Clady, Monza and the Isle of Man. They had been racing motorcycles on this chunk of granite stuck in the middle of the Irish Sea since 1907. Back then there was a 25kph speed limit on British roads. The forward-thinking Manx government realised that closing their roads for racing could have far-reaching consequences and they were right.
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