Seven-time Grand Prix world champion Phil Read is hospitalized with prostate cancer at the age of 82, he confirmed.
One of the UK’s most decorated and successful motorcycle racers, Read announced on his personal social media, saying, “I’m sorry, my friends. You haven’t heard much from me lately. The reason: I am back in the hospital to treat my prostate cancer ”.
This is not the first time Read has been forcibly hospitalized this year after also contracting chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), a difficult-to-cure lung disease that hinders breathing and lowers energy.
COPD during this time of COVID-19 is of particular concern with the prospect of catching the coronavirus – which can make breathing particularly difficult even for healthy people – making recovery very difficult.
However, medics had managed to stabilize him, allowing Read to return home in June, according to his son David, who works for Ducati North America. Alas, he is now hospitalized for another illness.
Despite his years of progress, Read – who has been honored with an MBE – has remained remarkably active within the motorcycle racing industry and not even later than in 2015, he competed in the World GP Bike Legends at the Silverstone Classic Festival, lining up alongside Freddie. Spencer and Randy Mamola on a Suter V4.
With the death of John Surtees in 2017, Read is now Britain’s longest-serving motorcycle world champion.
Read won a total of seven World Grand Prix Championships, including two 500cc titles with MV Agusta in 1973 and 1974, as well as 8 Isle of Man TT victories.
Competing between 1961 and 1976, although Read often had to compete for attention with compatriot Mike Hailwood, his 52 career GP wins put him ninth on the all-time list.