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Racing world pays tribute to tragic rider Petricola

By Frank Brownlow

Tragic Franck Petricola has been described as "a brave rider who knew the risks" following the Frenchman's death in a crash at the Isle of Man TT.

The 32-year-old - who raced at last month's North West 200 - died when he crashed at Sulby Crossroads during Wednesday night's Superbike qualifying session.

Petricola was seriously injured in a crash at last year's North West but bravely battled back to compete again.

BBC pundit Liam Beckett, mechanic to the late Robert Dunlop for two decades, spoke to Petricola at last month's North West.

"I made a point of welcoming him back after his crash," Beckett explained.

"He's a very brave man - he saw fit to come back after almost losing his life at the North West last year.

"It's dreadful. My thoughts and prayers are with Franck's family and friends."

Beckett added: "I have been involved in this sport for a long time and the only time riders contemplate retirement is in the immediate aftermath of a crash when they are lying in hospital. But as soon as they are up and about they're ready to ride again.

"Organisers do all they can to make their events as safe as possible but riders want to race on the roads despite the dangers posed by things like walls, kerbs and telegraph poles.

"The risk factor will always be there. All riders have the attitude it will never happen to them."

Isle of Man TT Races Clerk of the Course Gary Thompson paid tribute to Petricola.

"Franck showed incredible character to battle back from the serious injuries he suffered at the North West 200 last year when many a lesser man would have given up the challenge.

"But it showed his determination to compete on the mountain course. The road racing community has lost a remarkable man."

Belfast Telegraph


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