Benzina | Mike Hailwood's real comeback | Ductalk: What's Up In The World Of Ducati |

Parochial fans too often talk about the 1978 TT as Mike Hailwood’s comeback. The familiar story goes that he returned after years away from racing, his Isle of Man victory made even sweeter by unexpectedly choosing to ride a Ducati rather than returning to Honda. Some people even gild the lily with tales of Hailwood arriving on the Island and having to come to terms with a left-foot gear change and a big Desmo twin when he’d last raced a right foot-changing 500 multi. Yet like so much of the received wisdom on Mike’s comeback, it’s all wrong. After the Nürburgring crash that mangled his right leg and ended his F1 career, Mike might have moved to New Zealand, but he certainly didn’t give up on bikes. The story of his real comeback to racing, and his journey to the Isle of Man was via the race tracks of Australia. The truth involved racing a Ducati 750SS in the Castrol Six Hour Race at Amaroo Park, a properly scary, knarled little race track where rock faces and concrete walls count as run off...more