Franck Petricola dies: Isle of Man TT rider suffers fatal crash in practice

French rider Petricola was killed in an accident at Sulby Crossroads

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The Independent Online

The Isle of Man TT was overshadowed on Wednesday by the death of French rider Franck Petricola following a crash in practice.

32-year-old Petricola suffered an accident at Sulby Crossroads during practice for the road races, which get underway this Saturday.

The race organisers past on their “deepest sympathy to Franck’s family and friends”, and the Coroner of Inquests has been informed of the fatality and an investigation into the circumstances of the crash is underway.

Petricola, from Pont a Mousson, was a regular competitor in the International Road Racing Championship and secured a best finish of 11th in 2013. He was due to make his debut at the TT in 2014, but was forced to withdraw after a crash at the North West 200 in Northern Ireland left him with multiple fractures and a head injury that left him in a coma for several days.

Isle of Man TT: Race schedule and dates

Petricola was flown home after the accident, but made a full recovery and was able to participate at the North West 200 just last month.

His death comes as the 141st in TT history, and the 246th rider to suffer a fatal accident on the Snaefell Mountain Course that the historic race is ran on.

Wednesday’s practice saw two other accidents in the F2 Sidecars. Driver Brian Kelly was taken by air to Nobles hospital but was later confirmed to be conscious and ok, while newcomers Terry O’Reilly and Aidan Browne were unhurt after hitting bales at Governors Dip.

New Zealand’s Bruce Anstey went fastest on both the superbike and supersport machines to lay down a marker ahead of race week, with a best lap speed of 128.641mph on the superbike followed by a 125.218 on the supersport.

John McGuinness got closest to Anstey on the superbikes , while Guy Martin and Gary Johnson followed the Kiwi home in second and third respectively on the supersport.