Phil Read, a seven-time world motorcycling champion dubbed the ‘Prince of Speed’ in an era dominated by Giacomo Agostini, died Thursday.
Phil Read : News | in hospital | Wife | Drag racing
During the mid-1960s Yamaha had prolific riders in Read, Canadian Mike Duff and later Bill Ivy. In 1964, Read gave Yamaha their first world title when he won the 250cc class. He would repeat as champion the following year.
For 1966, Yamaha would introduce a new, four cylinder 250cc bike. Teething problems with the new engine meant he would lose the crown to Hailwood.
Also In 1967 he would battle Hailwood on his six-cylinder Honda all the way to the final round. They would end up tied but, Hailwood took the crown due to having five wins to Read’s four.
Read took over from Frank Perris in 1967 as representative for the Grand Prix Riders’ Association.
Phil Read news
Phil Read, one of the greatest riders Britain has ever produced, has died.
He was 83 and left behind him achievements which may never be matched – the first rider to win seven world championships in the 125, 250 and 500 cc classes at a time – 1961 to 1976 – which included the IoM TT and riders of the calibre of Mike Hailwood and Giacomo Agostini.
From a working life as an apprentice fitter in Luton but benefitting from the support from his mother who took him to Mallory Park with his Gold Star for one of his first serious races in 1958.
Two years later he was winning the Junior Manx Grand Prix on a Manx Norton and a year later, straight from this achievement, he was winning the Junior TT. But It was in this year that his great rival Mike Hailwood was winning three TT races.
It was the presence of Hailwood, who came from a rather different background, which probably denied Read being given the recognition that he deserved.
They were quite different in personalities but his achievements on the track don’t tell lies. His other great rivals were Giacomo Agostini – and it shouldn’t be forgotten that Read won two 500cc world titles on MVs in 1973/74 but had to give best to Ago in 1975 after the Italian hero had transferred to Yamaha.
Phil Read in hospital
One of the UK’s most decorated and successful motorcycle racers, Read announced on his personal social media channels, saying: “I’m sorry, friends. You haven’t heard much from me lately. The reason: I’m back in the hospital to have my prostate cancer cured”.
It is not the first time Phil Read in hospital this year having also contracted Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), a difficult to cure lung disease that hampers breathing and reduces energy.
COPD during this period of COVID-19 is a particular concern with the prospect of catching the coronavirus – which can make breathing particularly difficult for even healthy people – making it very difficult to recover from.
However, doctors had been able to stabilise it, allowing Read to return home in June, according to his son David, who works for Ducati North America. But Alas, he is now in hospital for a different ailment now.
Despite his advancing years, Read – who has been honoured with an MBE – has remained remarkably active within the motorcycle racing industry and even as recently as 2015 participated in the World GP Bike Legends at the Silverstone Classic Festival, lining up alongside the likes of Freddie Spencer and Randy Mamola on a V4 Suter.
Madeleine Read was the wife of Phil Read, MBE who was a professional motorcycle racer from England. Details about their married life and Madeleine Read’s personal life are unknown.
Phil Read MBE, passed away on October 6, 2022, at his home in England. His family released this statement: 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 survived by his sons Michael, Graham, Phil Jr, and Roki and daughter Esme’. Further details on any public celebrations of life will be shared.
Also 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.
Despite being overshadowed by his contemporary, Mike Hailwood, he won seven FIM Grand Prix world championships in road racing. Read was named a FIM Legend in 2013 for his achievements in motorcycle racing.
Drag racing in Australia is run traditionally over a quarter mile, but the shorter, 1000 feet version of the sport is taking hold.
But Phil Read, who makes a return to the Jim Read Racing team this weekend at the Sydney Dragway, told Speed News Australia that’s a shame.
“I haven’t raced over 1000 feet yet, I’m not a big fan of it,” Read said.
“From 1000 feet on you enjoy the ride, because when you get to half-track in my car your brain is still 100 yards behind you.
“So, from 1000 feet on it’s like ‘this is the fun part’.
“So, when I do [run it] I’ll let you know, but I’m not a big fan of it.”