Belfast Telegraph

Malachi Mitchell-Thomas tragedy casts a dark cloud over North West 200 weekend

By Paul Lindsay

The Supertwin class was blighted by red flag incidents at this year’s Vauxhall International North West 200 with Dungannon’s Ryan Farquhar crashing out of the lead on Thursday night and Bolton’s Malachi Mitchell-Thomas sadly succumbing to his injuries after crashing out of third place on Saturday.

Ivan Lintin was awarded both race wins after red flag stoppages for both serious incidents, with James Hillier and Jeremy McWilliams second and third on Thursday night, and Martin Jessopp and McWilliams filling the minor podium positions on Saturday.

John Burrows, team manager at Cookstown B.E Racing, whose rider Mitchell-Thomas sadly lost his life during an incident during Saturday’s second Supertwin race on the penultimate lap said.

“Our whole team has been devastated by Malachi’s death. To be honest everyone is in a state of shock. Of course, Malachi’s loss will be felt most by his family and his close friends and I’d like to offer my heartfelt condolences to his nearest and dearest.”

Speaking of his young star he added: “Malachi had only been with the team a few months but he quickly became part of the family and we will all miss him so much.

“He loved life and racing and the talent and enthusiasm just bubbled out of him. Before he started the Supertwin race he had a massive smile on his face, as he has just ridden the race of his life, finishing fourth in the Supersport class ahead of some top class riders. I will never forget that smile.”

Looking ahead Burrows concluded: “I’ve been asked what my racing plans are, but for now my thoughts are with Malachi’s family. Malachi’s father Kevin wants the team to race on but I want time to consider everything and I’ll make an announcement in due course. All I’m focused on is giving my support to Malachi’s family and helping the team get through a very difficult period.”

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