Derek Minter, a motorcycle grand prix frontrunner in the 1950s and '60s, has died at the age of 82.

Minter may only have started 25 grands prix, but the Englishman finished on the podium eight times while entering the full range of 50cc, 125cc, 250cc, 350cc and 500cc classes.

During a ten-year period the versatile Minter raced Norton, MZ, Morini, Honda and Gilera machinery, claiming a best of fifth overall in the 1958 500cc World Championship for Norton.

Minter, who began his motorsport career as a mechanic, later claimed what would be his only grand prix victory in the 1962 250cc Isle of Man TT, riding a Honda.

The following year saw Minter join Geoff Duke's 500cc Gilera team with the aim of trying to prize the crown away from Mike Hailwood. Minter took two podiums in two races before serious injuries in a non-Grand Prix event at his local Brands Hatch circuit ended his season.

Minter made a (podium-less) return in the 350cc class for 1964, before taking his final rostrums in the 500cc class in '65 and '66. He retired after a further one-off appearance in 1967.

Born and raised in Kent, Minter was labelled the King of Brands, where he also has a straight named in his honour.



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