England - British motorcycle great Geoff Duke has died at the age of 92
on the Isle of Man, the sport's spiritual home where the six-times champion raced to six TT victories in the 1950's.
The man known as
'The Duke' in an era when British motorcycles and their riders led the
world, retired from the championship in 1959 after 33 GP wins. He was awarded the Order of the British Empire (OBE).
He was one of Britain's top sports personalities in the
post-Second World War period, was voted Sportsman of the Year in 1951 and entered motorcycling legend as the first rider to compete in one-piece
OTHER RACERS MOURN
British MotoGP rider Cal Crutchlow, a
fellow Manx resident, said on Twitter as news of his death in Douglas on
Friday became known: "Really sad to hear the passing of Geoff Duke. A true
hero in our sport."
Duke's son Peter told bikesportnews.com that his father died peacefully after a long illness.
Italy's 15-times motorcycling champion Giacomo Agostini was saddened at the passing of one of his boyhood idols. He told BT Sport at the 2015 Spanish GP in Jerez: "He
was a very good rider. I started to race after he had already stopped
but I read about him, his victories.
"People called him 'the Iron Duke'. I met him sometimes at some circuits... he did a lot for motorcycling."
THREE CHAMPIONSHIPS - THEN GILERA
Geoff Duke was born in St Helens in north-west England and served as a motorcycle
despatch rider during the Second World War. He later started road-racing.
won the 1950 Senior TT on a Norton, setting records along the way, and
took three World championships before switching to the Italian Gilera
factory and winning three more.
Duke won two 350cc titles for Norton in 1951 and 1952 while his other four were in 500cc - one with
Norton in 1951 and the rest with Gilera in 1953, 1954 and 1955.
Read more about Geoff Duke.