World Champion Rider Geoff Duke Passes Away
Geoff Duke, OBE, considered by many to be one of the best motorcycle riders in history, passed away. He was 92 years old. According to numerous reports, Duke passed away peacefully at the Elder Grange Nursing Home on the Isle of Man.
Many of our younger readers may not be familiar with Duke, but those who remember him will attest of his iconic status in the world of motorcycle racing. Duke’s career spanned from 1950 to 1959 and in that time, Duke collected an incredible Grand Prix racing record that included 33 victories and 17 more podium finishes. Considering that he took part in just 60 Grand Prix races, Duke’s winning percentage of winning more than 50 percent of his races is won of the most enduring records in the history of motorcycle racing. Included in his race wins tally are six Isle of Man TT races he won back when the legendary Isle of Man race was still included in the world championship calendar.
Duke went on to win six world titles - three with Norton and another three with Gilera - in addition to being credited as the first rider to hit 100 mph around the Snaefell Mountain in the Isle of Man.
His contributions to the world of motorcycle racing - and British racing for that matter - was enough for him to be awarded with the Order of the British in 1953.
Once he retired from the sport altogether, Duke settled in at the Isle of Man where he lived to his dying day.
Our condolences go out to the family and friends of Geoff Duke, OBE.
Continue reading to read more about Geoff Duke’s passing.
Why it matters
I’ll be the first to admit that I count myself among the people who wasn’t even born yet when Geoff Duke, OBE, blazed a trail in the motorcycle racing scene to become one of the most iconic riders in history.
To be completely honest, I actually didn’t know a whole lot about Duke besides the passing reference to his overall brilliance in the saddle. But as soon as I heard news of his passing, I immediately looked him up, only to discover that this was a rider who many still believe to be among the best ever.
There aren’t really enough words to perfectly encapsulate the feelings of those he left behind. I’ve been in this position and it always sucks, no matter the circumstances behind someone’s death.
But when I found out that Duke passed away peacefully, it made the weight on my shoulders feel a little lighter because there’s really no better way to leave this earth than to sleep serenely and never wake up.
His surviving family will grieve for him, as well they should. But they won’t be the only ones feeling somber about his death. He still has countless of fans all over the world who are probably thinking what I’m thinking now.
Rest in peace, Geoff Duke, OBE. You’re an icon and an inspiration to motorcycle riders all over the world.