Kiwi speedway great Ivan Mauger dies

AAP

New Zealand's Ivan Mauger, regarded by many as the world's greatest speedway rider, has died at the age of 78.

The six-time world champion died in Queensland on Monday from cognitive aphasia.

He retired to the Gold Coast in 1987 but maintained his connections with motorcycling as a promoter and mentor for young riders.

Christchurch-born Mauger won 15 world titles, mostly in the 1970s, along with countless other events and enjoyed international celebrity status.

He was crowned New Zealand sportsman of the year in 1977 and 1979 and was inducted into the New Zealand Sports Hall of Fame in 1990.

His six solo world titles - in 1968, 1969, 1970, 1972, 1977 and 1979 -is matched only by Swedish great Tony Rickardsson, while he was also a runner-up three times.

Mauger was a three-time long-track world champion, two-time pairs champion and four-time World Team Cup winner.

The first three team titles came with Great Britain before the last came with New Zealand, in 1979.

He represented Great Britain after venturing to England to race as a teenager.

He rode for numerous British speedway teams in a sport which rode a golden wave of popularity.

Mauger is survived by Raye, his wife of 61 years, and three children.