Derek Brien leaves us with fine legacy
Derek Brien, one of Ireland’s leading road racers, was killed yesterday following a high-speed crash at Gorse Lea on the second lap of the first TT Supersport race.
The 34-year-old joiner from Bellewstown, near Drogheda, was a regular and experienced competitor both in Irish road racing and on the Isle of Man where he first competed in the 2004 Manx Grand Prix.
Derek was involved in one of the closest-ever finishes in 2006 when he lost out on winning the Junior Manx Grand Prix by just 100th of a second.
This came after a race-long battle with eventual winner Craig Atkinson, the pair flashing across the finish line side-by-side after 150 miles of thrilling racing.
He returned a year later to win the Junior Manx Grand Prix before turning his attention to the TT races, where he competed for the first time in 2009 having taken a year out of racing in 2008 through lack of funds.
In his TT debut he finished 15th in the second Supersport race before finishing 13th and 16th in the two Supersport events last year.
Here in Ireland Brien was runner-up in the 2003 750cc support road race championship and last season finished fourth in the Dundrod 150 National race during Ulster Grand Prix Bike Week.
Derek is survived by partner Sarah and in a statement Auto Cycle Union Events managing director Jim Parker said: “Derek was a highly talented road racer and achieved a number of notable career highlights including his Manx Grand Prix victory.
“He will be sorely missed and the ACU pass on their deepest sympathies to Derek’s family and friends.”
An investigation into the circumstances of the accident is under way.