Ulster Grand Prix: French rider Pierre Favre fighting for his life following crash
A French rider competing in the Ulster Grand Prix is critically ill in hospital after crashing his motorcycle during a race.
The incident happened last night during the Ultra Lightweight/Lightweight event at the Dundrod 150 meeting which forms part of the Metzeler Ulster Grand Prix festival.
The rider, Pierre Favre, was treated by race doctors at the scene before being transported to hospital by ambulance with a police escort.
Mr Favre is currently being treated at Belfast's Royal Victoria Hospital.
The crash happened during lap one at the Rock Bends part of the demanding 7.4 mile road circuit.
The event was put on hold for an hour last night after the crash.
It was restarted once the injured rider was taken to hospital and a safety check of the circuit carried out.
The event Mr Favre was competing in was the lightweight class for motorcycles with engines ranging from 250cc to 400cc.
He was riding a Yamaha 250cc machine during the race and started in 15th place on the grid after practice on Wednesday.
Another competitor, Danny Webb from Kent, also crashed earlier yesterday.
The former world champion Grand Prix motorcyclist crashed during practice at the Joey's Windmill section of the circuit.
He suffered suspected fractures but his injuries are not believed to be life-threatening.
Dubbed the "world's fastest road race", riders reach greater speeds at the Ulster Grand Prix than at any other road racing competition in the world.
The main event takes place tomorrow, with roads around the circuit closed from 9.30am to as late as 8.30pm. The event is also one of the oldest motorcycle grands prix in the world, dating back to 1922.
The big drawcards at this year's event include local heroes William and Michael Dunlop, flying Kiwi Bruce Anstey and the exciting English rider Guy Martin who has branched out into presenting television documentaries.