A  History of Classic Racing  50cc Motorcycles


Race Meetings: 1955 Castle Combe and Silverstone:

The bike ridden in the 250cc race at Castle Combe, Smiths Special, was based on a 250cc Aerial Red Hunter

For this meeting Charlie had moved to the Rudge

Race Meetings: 1958. Silverstone, Castle Combe and Snetterton.

Rudge's own
250cc 4 valve full radial Rudge engine.

Race Meetings: 1958. Brands Hatch and Silverstone.

In this heat the first 12 across the line went into the Final. Charlie was 9th. In the final against 24 riders Charlie came in 6th.

A small gallery of Charlie on the NSU.

Race Meetings: 1959. Brands Hatch and Silverstone.

Race Meetings: 1960. Silverstone.

May 28th 1960 is the last record I have of Charlie riding the 250cc NSU. He then found that the 50cc class suited his riding style and size and moved to an Itom 50cc Astor.

8th October 1960. Charlie Mates on the Itom Astor in 1960. This was the beginning of his love for the Wasps.

Race Meetings: 1961. Brands Hatch. Silverstone, Castle Combe and Snetterton.

Charlie Mates 1961 - His First Win

 Brands Hatch 22nd May 1961


Brands Hatch 22nd May 1961

Charlie Mates had a good start with a field of 37 riders, to begin the 50cc race in the Whit Monday program. It was a 5 lap race on the GP circuit, which always tested the little bikes. Riders learned from the beginning that to brake or shut off would lose you so much power that would take too long to rebuild before the next hill or bend and you would quickly loose position. Charlie had to mix it with the likes of Mike Thomas, Bill Ivy, Mike and Dave Simmonds and Mike O'Rourke, who in this race was on the Sheene special. As a result Charlie achieved his First Win on a 50cc racer! The top three p[laces went to: 

188 Charlie Mates - 1st Place Itom 50

174 Maurice Thomas - 2nd Place Chis-Itom

179 Dave Simmonds - 3rd Place Itom 50

Other Race meetings in the Year

 Friday 31st March 1961

 Friday 31st March 1961 50cc Race

 Friday 31st March 1961 125cc Race

For this Good Friday meeting at Brands Hatch, Charlie had the chance to borrow a 125cc Montesa and was accepted to ride in that class. 

 A Montesa Brio, similar to the one Charlie rode.

Saturday 27th May Castle Combe

Saturday 27th May Castle Combe

28th May 1961

28th May 1961

Saturday 19th August 1961 Silverstone

Saturday 19th August 1961 Silverstone

 Sunday 20th August -1961

Sunday 20th August -1961

156 M Thomas - 1st  Chis-Itom
146 Charlie Mates - 2nd Sheene Special 50
107 Bill Ivy - 3rd Chris-Itom

Close-up of a happy man

Sunday 20th August -1961

Sunday 8th October 1961 

Sunday 8th October 1961

Charlie Mates-Honda CB92 125cc twin at the Hutchinson 100 Silverstone April 1961

Race Meetings: 1962.


Hugh Anderson 1st. Dave Simmonds 2nd Charlie Mates 3rd

Charlie Mates -8 and Mike Simmonds -18 battle for position

Close-up of Charlie at Oulton Park

Charlie Mates Itom-119, Dave Simmonds Tohatsu-74. Cadwell Park 1962

Charlie Mates Itom, Cadwell Park 1962 in the collecting area  with his wife, Rene who supported him in his racing throughout his career.

Cadwell Park Circuit 1962

Still 1962 and the Isle of Man Tourist Trophy Meeting

Run under the same magnificent weather conditions as earlier races in T.T. week the 50cc event provided a long overdue victory for the Japanese Suzuki factory. Ernst Degner covering the two laps (76.46 miles) of the Isle of Man mountain circuit at an average speed of 75.2 mph and putting in the fastest lap of the race.

Charlie entered for this race on his Itom. He came in taking 16th place at a speed of 58.65 mph

 More to come Later

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