A rider attempting to set a time at the Isle Of Man TT qualifying session, crashed and died on Monday.
Yoshinari Matsushita was killed at Ballacrye on the north of the island, and his accident immediately saw the session red flagged, according to the event’s organisers.
Matsushita, who only confirmed his presence in the race earlier in the day, is the 21st rider to die since 2000.
Gary Thompson, who is the clerk of the course, stated, “Yoshi was a really popular competitor who had a large number of friends in the TT Races paddock.”
He added, “He was a genuine and friendly character who always had time for everyone. He will be sorely missed.”
Coroners have been informed of the death and an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the accident are already underway.
Only hours earlier, Matsushita had talked about his delight at taking part in the race, stating, “As a member of this great team for the TT, I draw the full power to be able to use their experience to fight this monster course at best. I did not ever think a miracle like this would ever happen.”
Upon the announcement of his death, Moto GP riders took to twitter to send their condolences, with Cal Crutchlow, a British rider, stating, “Sad news from TT tonight. Thoughts are with Yoshinari family and all involved.”
Phil Neill, the Tyco Suzuki manager, stated that everyone in their team was “devastated” by the death, adding, “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.”
An official statement regarding the catastrophe was also placed on the TT website, which read, “”ACU Events Ltd regrets to announce that Japanese rider Yoshinari Matsushita, 43, was killed during the qualifying session at the 2013 Isle of Man TT Races in an incident at Ballacrye in the north of the island. The session was immediately red-flagged following the accident.”
Yoshinari Matsushita was 43-years-old.