British rider Daniel Hegarty has been killed in an accident at the Macau Motorcycle Grand Prix.
31-year-old Daniel, from Nottingham, tragically crashed into the barriers after losing his helmet at the notorious Fisherman’s Bend.
Daniel was on the seventh out of the 12 rescheduled laps in the race, when red flags were immediately waved.
The Brit was riding for Top Gun Racing Honda in China but died en route to the hospital, report MCN.
A statement from the race organisers said:
It is with great regret that we have to announce that the British rider succumbed to his injuries en route to the Conde S. Januario Hospital.
Daniel’s family and team have been contacted and the Committee will ensure every assistance is extended to them. The Macau Grand Prix Committee extends its deepest sympathies to the family and friends of Daniel.
Following Daniel’s crash, the race was red-flagged and the post-race press conference was cancelled.
Hegarty, a regular at the Isle of Man TT, was taking part in his second race in Macau.
Last year, in 2016, Daniel spoke of the concerns of his family about his safety – particularly his eldest son report the Mirror:
I find it hard with the children because my oldest son is nine years old now and he understands things and he can go on YouTube himself and get facts and statistics, like how many riders have died in the years.
It really scared him for a long time, so I found myself explaining it to him, but then I took him with me at the TT and he loved it as much as I me.
He got through the stage where he was scared and asked a lot of questions and I didn’t understand why he did it? My parents are really scared (laughs). I wouldn’t like to be them, because it’s hard for me going riding.
I just switch off and focus on what I’m doing and forget how many people are at home worrying. I just told them I’m as focused as I can be to minimise the risk.
— Daniel Hegarty (@Hego8) September 27, 2017
Macau has been hosting the street race for cars and motorbikes since 1954 – Hegarty was the first rider to die at the event since Portugal’s Luis Carreira, who was killed in 2012, during qualifying for the race, at the same bend.
According to Motorcycle News:
A former front-runner in the Virgin Yamaha R6 Cup and the National Superstock 1000 championship, Dan made his debut at the Isle of Man TT in 2011, setting fast times as a rookie before going on to impress as a member of the factory Norton team, handing the Donington Park-based manufacturer their best results to date in 2013.
Daniel is said to have improved with each year passing, taking the Privateers’ Trophy in 2016 with with a series of strong results, culminating in an eleventh place finish and a fastest lap of over 128mph.
The 31-year-old was a keen engineer and the owner of RTR Motorcycles in Bingham.
— Daniel Hegarty (@Hego8) August 4, 2013
Daniel’s girlfriend, Lucy Draycott, said on Facebook he was the ‘love of her life’.
In a post following Daniel’s death she wrote:
It is with a broken heart to tell you that the love of my life passed away this morning.
I just need time to take in what has happened and would appreciate if people could just be patient with me and wait for contact.
Joe Hegarty, Daniel’s brother, thanked people on on social media site Twitter for their ‘nice comments’ following news of his death:
— Joe Hegarty (@JoeHego) November 18, 2017
Formula 3 motor racing champion Lando Norris tweeted:
Awful news. Rest In Peace Daniel Hegarty. Thoughts and prayers with your family and friends in this tough time…
— Lando Norris (@LandoNorris) November 18, 2017
As well as being a fast racer, Dan was regarded as one of the friendliest and best-liked characters in the road racing paddock and his death will leave a huge hole.
It also comes as a further tragedy for the Top Gun Racing squad Dan was competing for in 2017, following the death of his teammate Gavin Lupton in August at the Ulster Grand Prix.