Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 18 September 2014

Death biker 'lost control at 90mph'

Mark Buckley died after he was catapulted off his motorbike during the North West 200 last year

A Scottish motorcyclist died after losing control of his machine at 90mph during Northern Ireland's flagship road race, an inquest heard.

Mark Buckley, 35, was catapulted off the vehicle and across the road during the North West 200.

His wheels lost adhesion at a bend on Station Road, Portstewart, last year and he sustained multiple injuries when he fell, senior coroner John Leckey said.

His mechanic raised safety concerns about that area during the inquest and protective bales have been installed ahead of this year's race.

Race incident officer Tony Harvey told the Belfast inquest: "The geometry of his machine would have been totally beyond control."

Mr Buckley was on the first lap of the Superstock race when the accident happened on on May 19 last year.

His widow Jane Buckley, married three years, cleaned his visor as he sat on the bike awaiting the start. Minutes later he was dead.

"His whole life revolved around racing. I miss him, I really, really miss him," she said following the inquest.

After reviewing a pathology report, the coroner said Mr Buckley died from extensive injuries which were not survivable.

The biker, a sales businessman from Alexandria, Dunbartonshire, had competed since 1998 and taken part in the North West 200, a thrilling nine-mile circuit on Northern Ireland's picturesque North Coast which attracts riders from across Britain and Ireland, for a decade. He rode in all classes and engine sizes.

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