Derek Minter passes away aged 82

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Derek Minter, the man famously described by Mike Hailwood as his toughest ever rival, passed away on Saturday aged 82. Minter was regarded as one of the best racers of his generation, succeeding not only in the UK but also abroad.

He made his GP debut in 1957 at Spa-Francorchamps, before going on to enjoy a number of years of success in the class, with a best overall result of fifth in 1958. He also tasted the champagne at the Isle of Man TT, winning the 1962 250cc race on the Island.

He was rewarded for his 1962 success by becoming the Motorcycle News Man of the Year

Minter enjoyed success at home as well as abroad, winning two British titles and being dubbed King of Brands by Murray Walker in 1962, thanks to his almost unbeatable form at his home track. The title was made official in 1965, as he won the new crown for the first time.

Minter retired from racing in 1967. He continued to ride in parade laps and classic meetings up until a Darley Moor crash in 2000, and remained a keen spectator at Brands Hatch until his death.

Simon Patterson

By Simon Patterson

MotoGP and road racing reporter, photographer, videographer