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MotoGP mourns loss of Kirk McCarthy

MotoGP mourns loss of Kirk McCarthy

MotoGP mourns loss of Kirk McCarthy

Former Grand Prix rider Kirk McCarthy died after a high-speed crash with another rider during a round of the Australian Superbike Championships on Sunday. McCarthy, 35, was injured in a collision with another motorcycle during the event at Willowbank Raceway near Ipswich, Queensland. Police said he was rushed to the local hospital but died during surgery.

McCarthy contested the 500cc World Championship in 1997 riding a Yamaha for Peter Clifford's WCM team, scoring points on nine occasions and recording a highest finish of twelfth at Rio and Donington Park. He won the Australian Superbike Championship in 1995 and was currently contesting the 600 Supersport series on a Suzuki.

The owner of Willowbank Raceway, John Tetley, said that the two bikes had come together on turn four during the event. "Both would have been travelling at around 180kph and under heavy braking at the time of the accident," said Mr Tetley, adding that the bikes had slid off the track into "a big open space" and had not hit any of the raceway infrastructure.

"It has really upset the staff of the raceway and we are very disappointed because it is the first fatality we have had in the five years we have operated the track," he continued. "We rent out the facility (to Motorcycling Australia, the controlling body of motorcycle racing in Australia) and we make sure that the track meets all the safety regulations."

Perry Morison, Motorcycles General Manager for Suzuki Australia, said: "Everyone at Suzuki is greatly saddened by Kirk's death. Kirk was one of our sport's most colourful and talented racing stars and his passing is a great loss to the Australian motorcycle industry - he will be greatly missed."

Tags:
MotoGP, 2004

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