THE 130MPH CLUB
Hitting 130mph is a prestigious milestone dreamt of by many with only an elite few able to achieve such speeds. This year Lancashire man Rob Hodson became the 26th member of the exclusive club during the Milwaukee Senior TT alongside some of the TT’s modern greats. Here’s a look back at how the barrier breaking club began and that the band of heroes that have joined so far.
It’s well known that victory in sport is the ultimate goal for all competitors in whatever the discipline but within many of those sports are milestones and accomplishments, which many also strive to achieve although only the select few do. Running under 10 seconds in the 100m, hitting a century or taking a five-for at Lords and getting your name on the honours board or hitting a hole-in-one at the Open are just some examples.
Rob Hodson became the 26th and most recent member of the 130mph Club during the 2023 Senior TT, lapping at 130.327mph on the SMT Honda
At the Isle of Man TT Races, one of those, similar exclusive clubs is recording a lap of the 37.73-mile Mountain Course at more than 130mph. Since John McGuinness recorded the first 130mph+ lap in 2007, only a further 25 riders have achieved the unique, special feat which highlights just how special an accomplishment it is.
When you consider 126 riders have become World Champion, 397 riders have won Grand Prix races and 187 male athletes have run the 100m in under 10 seconds, the fact that just 26 riders have achieved the 130mph lap also highlights what an elite group it is, not just in motorcycling but within the sporting world in general.
For some riders, they may feel a TT win, or even a podium is out of their reach but the 130mph lap isn’t and it represents their own individual challenge to attain. It’s their own personal challenge against the Mountain Course and clock and completing those 37.73miles in a time of 17m24.827s or less. Or every mile in 27.7s or less!
With Bob McIntyre having set the first 100mph lap in the Golden Jubilee year of 1957, it was perhaps appropriate that 50 years later, McGuinness should record the first ever 130mph lap in the Centenary event and in the very same Blue Riband Senior race.
The TT Podcast Host Steve Plater became a 130mph Club member in 2009 alongside Manxman Conor Cummins
Riding the HM Plant Honda, McGuinness lapped at 130.354mph on his second lap to join McIntyre in the record books and it would be another two years before he had some fellow members in the ‘130mph Club, team-mate Steve Plater and McAdoo Kawasaki’s Conor Cummins breaking the magical barrier in 2009.
Ian Hutchinson and Michael Dunlop were next to join in 2010 with Bruce Anstey, Gary Johnson, Guy Martin and Keith Amor following them a year later and whilst the names haven’t exactly come thick and fast, such is the difficulty of lapping at 130mph plus, there’s been a steady stream of riders since.
Cameron Donald was the only new member in 2012, partially due to the cancellation of the Senior, with Michael Rutter, William Dunlop and James Hillier (2013) and Dean Harrison (2014) next. Current outright lap record holder Peter Hickman set his first 130mph+ lap in 2015 as did Lee Johnston whilst David Johnson and Dan Kneen became the second riders from Australia and the Isle of Man respectively to add their names to the list.
2016 was another barren year for 130mph first-timers but Josh Brookes and Martin Jessopp did it in 2017 and after another quiet year, Davey Todd and Jamie Coward became members of the elite group in 2019.
THE FOUR YEAR WAIT
That made it 22 riders in total, but we’d have to wait a further four years for more members after losing two years to the Covid-19 pandemic and 2022 being very much a re-familiarisation year for the riders. Both Shaun Anderson and Dominic Herbertson set their first 130mph laps in this year’s Superbike with Craig Neve and Rob Hodson doing likewise in the Senior. Neve set his first 130mph lap on the second lap, before doing it again on lap six and that’s when the 26th and most recent member Hodson did his, lapping at 130.327mph on the SMT Honda.
Michael Dunlop reigns as leader of the club recording 75 racing laps at more than 130mph+.
Dunlop is now the record holder for the most 130mph+ racing laps having recorded a total of 75 and that’s some 20 laps more than Harrison and Hickman who are next up on 55, with Hillier, Cummins and McGuinness completing the top six.
One of the 130 club's most recent members, Rob Hodson joined Chris Pritchard and Steve Plater on The TT Podcast fresh from achieving this motor-sporting milestone. He also about his relationship with the TT, from growing up in the paddock in racing family, as well as how he intends to improve his Superbike performance and become a 130mph+ regular – available on YouTube and your device via every podcast app, or get early access and watch for free on TT+.