The organisers of the Manx Grand Prix were involved in a late U-turn in allowing a rider to do a lap in memory of his late father.
Former TT rider Graham Read’s father was Phil Read MBE, who competed in Grand Prix motorcycle racing from 1961 to 1976 and won eight FIM Grand Prix road racing world championships.
Phil died in October 2022 at the age of 83, which led to his son Graham wanting to commemorate him in some capacity during this year’s Manx Grand Prix.
Graham, who has previously competed on the Mountain Course three times himself, was hopeful of being involved in the ‘Made at the Manx’ parade lap in memory of his father, but was left frustrated at the fact American racer Dave Roper was designated to do this instead.
In correspondence with the Manx Independent, Graham wrote: ‘The MGP organisers have, without any consultation or permission from the Read family, arranged and paid for American Dave Roper to fly over to ride in this event representing our dad.
‘There is absolutely no link or connection between the two riders and the Read family does not condone, recognise, approve or support this representation of Phil Read at the MGP.’
After late consultation between the Read family and the organisers of the MGP, it was arranged that Graham himself would fly to the island from the UK and ride the lap in memory of his father instead.
Graham said: ‘I would like to say a massive thank you to Paul Phillips [TT business development manager who also helps with the running of the MGP] and everyone on the motorsport team in making this possible at such a late stage.
‘As part of the MGP centenary celebrations, there was a parade lap on Saturday for riders past and present that have competed in the MGP then gone on to win at the TT.
‘This was achieved by my father, so it was an absolute pleasure to represent him.
‘I flew over on Saturday morning and completed the lap on Saturday afternoon on my dad’s RG500 Suzuki bike, which he rode when he won the world championships in 1976.
‘The last time I took part in the TT was 35 years ago, so it was quite surreal to fly down Bray Hill once again.’