Bike racer Simon Andrews dies following crash in Northern Ireland
A crash at this weekend's Superstock race during the annual North West 200 motorcycle meet in Northern Ireland has taken the life of one young rider.
Simon Andrews, who was racing for the Penz13.com BMW team, lost control of his 1000cc BMW superbike as he entered Metropole corner on lap 4 of the testing street race.
The 29-year-old, from Evesham in Worcestershire, received immediate medical care at the trackside and was eventually airlifted by helicopter to to the intensive care unit of the Belfast Royal Victoria hospital.
The talented young rider passed away yesterday with his parents Stuart and Dee, his girlfriend Lisa and best friend Breakers, by his bedside.
"Simon loved road racing and he loved competing at the North West 200," his father Stuart said.
"He has had a motorbike since he was four years old and started racing when he was 16. From that first race, Simon progressed to riding for the factory Honda TT Legends team and his Mum and I are very proud of his racing achievements."
He added: "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 always said 'Once you've been on the roads there's nothing else to compare with it'".
"Simon loved children and I always remember how he would kneel down to be at the same height as the kids who asked him for his autograph or picture. Throughout his career Simon has always been involved with various charities and that is why we have made a donation of his organs today. Simon always wanted that to happen."
The Superstock race is for 'stock' road-going machines, which receive as few modifications as possible. Engineers are allowed to remove all stock road equipment such as lights and mirrors, while the rear shock can be replaced and front fork internals can be modified.
The 1000cc motorcycles involved in the race still produce in excess of 180bhp, despite remaining as close to their road-going versions as possible.