Road Racing News

Famous TT Marques: Benelli

Next to feature in Road Racing News Famous TT Marques series is triple TT winners Pesaro, Italy based Benelli.

First founded in 1911, Benelli steeds have on multiple occasions excelled around the fabled, mythical Mountain Course.

81 years ago the Italian outfits first TT success arose within the Lightweight class, as Ted Mellors took the race spoils.

Fast forward 11 years and the twice European Championship winners went into double figures TT wins wise, with 250 Grand Prix World Champion Dario Ambrosini powering to Lightweight race honours.

19 years later Australian racing legend Kel Carruthers scored Benelli’s third Lightweight TT triumph, finishing over three minutes clear of nearest pursuer Frank Perris.

Although since the late 60’s not enjoying the same front running presence, a major highlight post Carruthers Lightweight success from 1969 for the Italian factory has to be the legend that is Joey Dunlop piloting a Benelli, to a top five finish in the Formula 2 TT of 1978.

Photo by Nick Wheeler

Additional famous racers not mentioned yet to have piloted Benelli mounts at the TT Races include Steve Ward, Ralph Bryans, Renzo Pasolini and Tarquinio Provini.

Modern history wise, Benelli since 2005 have been owned by the Chinese Qianjiang group. It remains to be seen as to whether in the future we will see the well liked, hugely popular Italian bikes racing again on Mona’s Isle.

Words by Stevie Rial

>