NW200 rider airlifted to hospital

Published Tuesday, 13 May 2014
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A rider has been airlifted from the North Coast to the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast following a serious crash at the North West 200.

NW200 rider airlifted to hospital
The North West 200 is being held around Portrush, Portstewart and Coleraine. (© Pacemaker)

The incident happened at Primrose Corner during the Superstock practice session on Tuesday and the event was red-flagged.

A statement from the event organisers said: "French rider Franck Petricola, 31, a newcomer riding for the Ice Valley team was the only rider involved in the incident.

"After being treated at the scene by the race doctors he was transferred by helicopter to the Royal Victoria Hospital, Belfast.

"The doctors have confirmed that Franck is currently in a serious but stable condition in the hospital's intensive care unit.

"They have said that his injuries are non-life threatening."

As the roads were due to reopen soon after the incident, practices were halted for the day.

Earlier, the Supersports had been first out on the roads, with Ballymoney's William Dunlop leading the pack with his best lap time of 4:41.401 and a best speed of 114.754mph.

He was followed by 13-time NW200 winner Michael Rutter in second and Carrick's 'Wee Wizard' Alastair Seeley in third.

Michael Dunlop came in eighth, just ahead of Australian rider Josh Brookes - with the British Superbikes competitor making his return to the Triangle circuit after his debut last year.

Yorkshire's Ian Hutchinson finished in 16th place, after coming off his Milwaukee Yamaha on the Mill Road section and requiring a hospital check-up.

It was later confirmed that he was "battered and bruised, but okay" and trying to get a couple more laps in when he got the chance.

'Hutchy' suffered serious leg injuries in a horror crash at Silverstone in 2010, and then a further leg injury during a stunt display in 2011, and has undergone nearly 30 operations during his recovery.

In the first Superbikes practice, it was Michael Rutter who led the way with his best lap time of 4:26.643 and a best speed of 121.106mph.

He was followed by Alastair Seeley in second and Guy Martin in third, with William Dunlop fourth and Michael Dunlop again in eighth.

In the Supertwins practice, Scotsman Keith Amor headed the field with his best lap time of 5:02.933 and best speed of 106.598mph.

Dungannon's Ryan Farquhar was second, followed by Connor Behan in third.

The Superstocks practice saw Austrian Horst Saiger make his way to the top of the table with his best lap time of 4:32.427 and best speed of 118.535mph.

Michael Rutter was second, with Stephen Thompson in third place - and further down the pack, William Dunlop finished seventh and his brother Michael 11th.

More practices will be held on Thursday morning, ahead of racing that evening and the main race day on Saturday.

© UTV News
Comments Comments
s magowan in belfast wrote (254 days ago):
Adrian I regularly watch short circuit racing on TV,and I am still of the belief that this is the only way forward for motor cycle racing in this country and it is a lot safer.Let's use the Maze complex and construct a purpose built short racing track there and we could attract the worlds top riders to take on Ulster's finest including Jonathan Rea and the successful Dunlop brothers.
Adrian in Coleraine wrote (256 days ago):
@ s magowan ! They wouldnt do it if they didnt enjoy it they know the risk ! Obvious your not a bike fan ! Speedy recovery
Dave in ... wrote (257 days ago):
@ s Magowan.. A Heifer cow broke loose at the Balmoral show today. Two people were injured. Do you want it banned as well?
s magowan in belfast wrote (258 days ago):
Surely after another serious accident during road racing practice it is now time to call a halt to this most dangerous of sports.It would much safer if a short racing circuit was built in this country and we could turn out talented riders like Jonathan Rea and the sport would be much safer for both riders and spectators.
Dan in Belfast wrote (259 days ago):
Best wishes Franck.
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