Englishman Geoff Duke, apart from being a World Champion six times, was also the first rider to be promoted as the face of the World Championship especially after he became popular in the early 1950s.

Duke, known as the The Duke by fans, started off with Norton in 1950, and immediately showcased his talent by not just winning the Isle of Man TT, but he also set a new lap record and a new record race time as well. That year was also Duke’s debut in World Championship and he finished with an impressive runner-up position in both 350cc and 500cc classes, and only missed out on the premier class title by one point. Umberto Masseti took the title home that season.

Born 29 Mar 1923
Nationality England England
Nickname The Duke

In 1951, his second year of competition Duke managed to win the title for both 350cc and 500cc classes. He won every single race in the 350cc category and had four wins in the 500cc category.

The next season, Duke retained his 350cc championship title but had to let go of his 500cc title. In 1953, he was signed for Gilera, a fact that did not receive much consent from the British press, but worked out very well for Duke. He now concentrated solely on the 500cc class and during the mid 50s he took three premier class titles, consecutively. From 1953 till 1955, Duke dominated the 500cc class and lost out on wins on only three occasions during this entire period.

After this Duke was never able to repeat his championship wins and his 1955 World Champion title was his last. He raced with Norton again, and even returned to the 350cc and 250cc categories. In 1959, Geoff Duke retired from the World Championship, at the age of 36, with six World titles and 33 Grand Prix wins under his belt.

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