Japanese motorbike rider Yoshinari Matsushita was killed in an accident during a qualifying session for the Isle of Man TT Races on Monday, according to the organizers of the race. The 43-year-old famous motor journalist became the 21st rider to die at the prestigious race in the last 13 years.
Matsushita was riding a Tyko Suzuki. He died at Ballacrye on the north of the island, which lies in the Irish Sea between the British mainland and Ireland, after an incident during the qualifying session, which was immediately cancelled, race organisers Auto Cycle Union Events Ltd (ACU) said.
Matsushita had competed at the TT races since 2009.
“The ACU wishes to pass on their deepest sympathy to Yoshinari’s family and friends,” said a statement on the ACU website.
Gary Thompson, clerk of the course, said: “Yoshi was a really popular competitor, who had a large number of friends in the TT Races paddock.
“He was a genuine and friendly character who always had time for everyone. He will be sorely missed.”
Tyco Suzuki’s manager, Phil Neill, said the Northern Ireland-based team was “devastated” by Matsushita’s death.
“We were very much looking forward to working with Yoshinari during TT2013 and pass on our deepest condolences to his family and fellow team members,” Neill said.
The ACU said that an investigation into the incident had been opened.