Tributes paid to Phil Read, eight-time Isle of Man TT winner and seven-time Grand Prix World Champion, after his death at the age of 83

The Englishman was the first rider to win world Grand Prix titles in the 125cc, 250cc and 500cc classes. He was 83 years old.

Read took his 125cc and 250cc championship victories on Yamaha machines between 1963 and 1976 and won the 500cc world crown in 1973 and 1974 for MV Agusta. He won three races at the Ulster Grand Prix between 1964 and 1965.

A family statement read: ‘It is with incredible sadness that the Read family report the death of Phil Read MBE as he slept peacefully on the morning of October 6, 2022, at his home in Canterbury, England.

Phil Read racing at Silverstone Circuit in Northamptonshire, 1965. (Photo by Daily Express/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

“Phil is best known for winning Yamaha’s first world championship title in 1964 along with four other Yamaha-riding titles, including one as a privateer, as well as two premier class 500cc world championships in 1973 and 1974 for the Italian brand MV Agusta.

“Often a controversial and outspoken figure, his prolific racing career included 52 FIM Grand Prix victories and eight victories at the iconic Isle of Man TT races. In 2002 he was granted ‘MotoGP Legend’ status 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”.

Phil Read with two-time Formula 2 world champion Brian Reid from Northern Ireland at a motorcycling event at Ballymoney in 2009.

“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, perhaps his best season came in 1968 when he won the 125 and 250 championships over in the same season, he also won back-to-back 500cc titles in 1973 and 1974.

“A true character on and off the track, Phil will be missed by all who knew and met him. The entire FIM family sends its condolences to his family and many friends at this sad and difficult time.’

Yamaha UK added: “We are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Phil Read.

“Phil competed in Yamaha’s first World Championship in 1964, winning four more titles with Yamaha, including one as a privateer.”

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