John Surtees, the only person to-date to have a 500cc motorcycle world championship and Formula 1 world championship title to his credit, has passed away at the age of 83, according to the BBC. The MotoGP Legend died at St. George’s Hospital in London on Friday after a bout with an existing respiratory condition. According to the Surtees Family Statement, John’s wife Jane and his daughters Leonora and Edwina were by his side.
Surtees won his first GP title in 1956 aboard an MV Agusta. He fell short in 1957 but then collected three consecutive world titles in the 500cc championship from 1958 to 1960. In 1964 he earned top honors in Formula 1 with Ferrari.
Here is a selection from the Family Statement, released shortly after his passing.
“John was a loving husband, father, brother and friend. He was also one of the true greats of motorsport and continued to work tirelessly up until recently with The Henry Surtees Foundation and Buckmore Park Kart Circuit.
“We deeply mourn the loss of such an incredible, kind and loving man as well as celebrate his amazing life. He has set a very real example of someone who kept pushing himself at his peak and one who continued fighting until the very end.
“We would like to thank all the staff at St. George’s Hospital ant The East Surry Hospital for their professionalism and support during this difficult time for us. Thank you also to all of those who have sent their kind messages in recent weeks.”