Isle of Man TT: Japanese rider Yoshinari Matsushita killed

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A Japanese rider, Yoshinari Matsushita, has been killed during qualifying at the Isle of Man TT races, event organisers have said.

The British-based Auto Cycle Union (ACU) issued a statement on the race website to confirm the 43-year-old Matsushita was killed in an accident at Ballacrye in the north of the island. The practice session was immediately stopped.

The ACU said Matsushita was an experienced rider from Saitama, Japan, who won the 2008 Motegi Endurance race and first competed at the TT Races in 2009.

“Yoshi was a really popular competitor who had a large number of friends in the TT Races paddock,” ACU course spokesman Gary Thompson said. “He was a genuine and friendly character who always had time for everyone. He will be sorely missed.”

The Coroner of Inquests has been informed and an investigation is underway.

Fatalities are common in the Isle of Man races, which are held on more than 37 miles of public roads around the island.