NW200 rider Petricola flown home

Published Tuesday, 20 May 2014
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Motorcyclist Franck Petricola has been flown home to France to continue his recovery from the serious injuries he sustained in a crash at the North West 200.

NW200 rider Petricola flown home
Franck Petricola had been set to compete in the North West 200. (© Pacemaker)

The 31-year-old was riding for the Ice valley team when he came off at Primrose Corner during the opening Superstock practise session a week ago.

Petricola had to be airlifted from the scene to the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast, where he was in a critical condition and being treated in intensive care.

In a statement on Tuesday, it was confirmed that the Frenchman had been gradually brought out of sedation over the last few days and that he was "responding well".

According to a spokesman, doctors expect Petricola to make a full recovery.

His crash was one of a number of incidents at the North West 200 - the most serious of which saw English rider Simon Andrews critically injured at Metropole during the Superstock race on Saturday.

He sadly passed away in hospital on Monday, with his family by his bedside.

His parents later paid tribute to the son they said they were proud of and who had known the risks.

"Road racing was in his blood and Simon preferred the roads to short circuits. He was fully aware of the dangers involved, but he loved the challenge that that offered," Simon Andrews' dad Stuart said.

Meanwhile, Co Down rider Michael Pearson's condition is now stable following his serious crash during a Superbike race in the Czech Republic.

The Ballygowan man had been in pole for the event, but slid into trees after colliding with another rider who had come off his bike moments earlier.

A statement from NEI Motorsports said: "We are pleased to report that Michael's condition has improved over the past 48 hours and he has been able to communicate with doctors and family members. His early signs of recovery are very encouraging."

Pearson will undergo further examinations on Wednesday for the treatment of a broken hip joint.

His family, team members and friends passed their thanks to all those for their messages of support and also to the crew members and medical staff involved in his care.

© UTV News
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