Surtees, John

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His family background gave John Surtees a head start on motorcycles. His father Jack, who owned a motorcycle shop in South London, was a three-time British motorcycle sidecar champion. The eldest of three children, John was born on February 11, 1934, and by the time he was 11 he had a bike of his own and could ride and repair it with equal skill. At 16 he left school and became an apprentice engineer at the Vincent motorcycle factory. A year later he competed in his first solo race and won it. In 1955 he became a member of the Norton works team and rode to victory 68 times in 76 races. From 1956 to 1960 he raced 350cc and 500cc bikes for the famed Italian MV Agusta team and won seven world championships.


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