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Learn, born Phillip William Learn in Luton on new 12 months’s day in 1939, started his grand prix racing profession in 1961, taking a primary win within the 350cc class on the Isle of Man TT, which was then the British spherical of what we all know now because the MotoGP world championship.
This is able to be the primary of eight TT wins for Learn, who over his profession would earn the nickname the Prince of Velocity.
Learn was a major identify in Yamaha’s highway racing historical past, as he secured the Japanese marque its first world title in 1964 within the 250cc class.
He would dominate the category in 1965 with seven wins, however would not be topped world champion once more till 1968 when he guided Yamaha to each the 125cc and 250cc titles.
A 250cc champion once more in 1971, Learn would end fourth on the Nations Grand Prix in Italy that 12 months on a Ducati within the premier class.
He dovetailed 250cc and 350cc campaigns in 1972 for Yamaha and MV Agusta, earlier than switching full-time to MV equipment from 1973 within the 350cc and 50cc world championships.
He received the primary of his two premier class titles in 1973 after beating Kiwi Kim Newcombe by 21 factors after amassing 4 victories, turning into the primary rider in historical past to win championships within the 125cc, 250cc and 500cc lessons.
Picture by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images
Learn was 500cc champion once more in 1974 following one other 4 race wins, and solely missed out on a 3rd to Giacomo Agostini – who had switched from MV to Yamaha – by eight factors.
He would briefly trip for Suzuki in 1976, after which he referred to as time on his grand prix profession. Learn continued racing at numerous occasions, together with the TT, till his retirement aged 43 in 1982.
Learn remained a relentless all through racing paddocks effectively after his retirement, ultimately being named a MotoGP legend by Dorna Sports activities.
The Briton handed away on 6 October, with the FIM main tributes to the double 500cc world champion.
“The FIM is unhappy to announce the sudden and up to date passing of seven-times FIM Grand Prix Highway Racing World Champion Phillip William Learn on the age of eighty-three years outdated,” an announcement learn.
“Nicknamed ‘The Prince of Velocity’, Learn was the primary man to win world championships within the 125cc, 250cc and 500cc lessons.
“Phil received his first title in 1964 after which adopted it up with one other 250 championship the next 12 months.
“Nevertheless, his best-ever season was maybe in 1968 when he received each the 125 and 250 championships in the identical season. He additionally went on to safe back-to-back 500cc title wins in 1973 and 1974.
Picture by: Dave Dyer
“A real character on and off the observe, Phil can be missed by all that knew and met him. All the FIM Household extends its condolences to his household and plenty of mates at this unhappy and troublesome time.”
Yamaha UK added: “We’re deeply saddened to listen to of the passing of Phil Learn.
“Phil raced to Yamaha’s first World Championship in 1964 occurring to safe 4 extra titles with Yamaha, together with one as a privateer. Our ideas are with Phil’s household and mates.”
Double 500cc world champion Freddie Spencer labelled Learn as “one of many greats”, whereas 2020 MotoGP world champion Joan Mir merely wrote “relaxation in peace, legend” on his social media channels.
On Twitter, 1996 Formulation 1 world champion Damon Hill stated he “will not overlook” how Learn “helped me after I misplaced my dad” Graham, who died in 1975 in a airplane crash.