Tributes paid to eight-time Isle of Man TT winner and seven-time Grand Prix world champion Phil Read after death aged 83
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The Englishman was the first rider to win Grand Prix world titles in the 125cc, 250cc and 500cc classes. He was 83.
Read achieved his 125cc and 250cc championship victories on Yamaha machinery between 1963-1976 and claimed the 500cc world crown in 1973 and 1974 for MV Agusta. He won three races at the Ulster Grand Prix between 1964-65.
A family statement read: ‘It is with incredible sadness that the Read family reports the passing of Phil Read MBE while peacefully asleep on the morning of October 6th, 2022, at his home in Canterbury, England.
‘Phil is best known for winning Yamaha’s first world championship title in 1964 with four more Yamaha-mounted titles including one fought as a privateer, plus two premier class 500cc world championships in 1973 and 1974 for the Italian MV Agusta marque.
‘Often a controversial and outspoken figure, his prolific racing career included 52 FIM Grand Prix wins and eight wins at the iconic Isle of Man TT Races. In 2002 he was granted the status of ‘MotoGP Legend’ by Dorna.
‘Phil is survived by his sons Michael, Graham, Phil Jr, Roki and daughter Esme."
The International Motorcycling Federation (FIM) said Read was a ‘true character on and off the track’.
‘Nicknamed ‘The Prince of Speed’, Read was the first man to win World Championships in the 125cc, 250cc and 500cc classes,” a statement read.
‘Phil won his first title in 1964 and then followed it up with another 250 championship the following year. However, his best-ever season was perhaps in 1968 when he won both the 125 and 250 championships in the same season. He also went on to secure back-to-back 500cc title wins in 1973 and 1974.
‘A true character on and off the track, Phil will be missed by all that knew and met him. The entire FIM Family extends its condolences to his family and many friends at this sad and difficult time.’
Yamaha UK added: ‘We are deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Phil Read.
‘Phil raced to Yamaha's first World Championship in 1964 going on to secure four more titles with Yamaha, including one as a privateer.’