Ride like a King, Race like a Lion

Among the thousands of people who race and have raced motorcycles, very few become famous and less still become legends of the sport. One of that small band of legends has just passed away. Phil Read – who died on 6 October 2022 at his Canterbury home aged 83 - was among a select group of riders that reached the top step of the podium in International Grand Prix as well as road racing on the Isle of Man.

Racing in an era when it was still common for even the leading riders to drive to each continental race and survive day to day on race winnings, Read will be remembered for delivering Yamaha’s inaugural Grand Prix World Championship, securing the 1964 250cc title on an RD56, a feat he would repeat in 1965, 1968 and 1971 while also taking the 125cc World Championship in 1968 on the factory RA31A.

Managing his own affairs as 'rider / manager” Read decided to leave Yamaha and join MV Agusta in the premier class delivering owner, Count Agusta, two World Championships in 1973 and 1974 in the then 500cc class. As the GP paddock swapped from four stroke to two stroke, Read was part of the final hurrah of four stroke success before the advent of the modern era machines.

On public road courses Read also excelled gaining no less than eight wins at the unforgiving Isle of Man TT winning in virtually all classes including Lightweight 125cc and 250cc, Formula 1 and the main event Senior race with Yamaha, Honda and suzuki machinery beneath him.

Passionate, outspoken and, at times controversial, Read’s achievements pay testimony to his outstanding ability with 121 Grand Prix podiums, 52 FIM Grand Prix wins and eight world titles to his name. We mourn and pay tribute to a “one of a kind” racer who said it like it is and rode like a lion, Phil Read rest in peace.

source: https://www.instagram.com/p...
issued: Wednesday, October 12, 2022
updated: Thursday, October 20, 2022

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