British great Phil Read dies aged 83

LONDON, Oct 6 (Reuters) - Britain's Phil Read, the first motorcycle rider to win world championships in the 125cc, 250cc and 500cc grand prix categories, died on Thursday aged 83, his family said.

Read, who competed in the world championship from 1961 to 1976, was a seven-times world champion and an eight-times winner at the Isle of Man TT races.

His son posted a statement on Instagram announcing the death.

Read became Yamaha's first world champion in 1964 on a 250cc bike and took four more titles with the Japanese manufacturer. He won the 500cc championships in 1973 and 1974 with Italian brand MV Agusta.

A rival of compatriot Mike "The Bike" Hailwood and Italian great Giacomo Agostini, Read retired with 52 grand prix wins and in 2002 was declared a "MotoGP Legend" by series promoters Dorna.

Yamaha paid tribute to him as "truly one of motorcycle racing’s greats".

Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Ed Osmond

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.