The superstock race at the North West 200 has been abandoned after a serious crash involving three riders and a spectator.
Race organisers confirmed that a serious accident had occurred on the Northern Irish road course between York Corner and Mill Road Roundabout. The race, which had already been red flagged once, was immediately stopped, and despite a restart taking place another red flag saw the superstock event abandoned.
The crash involved Dean Harrison, Stephen Thompson and Horst Saiger, and while Harrison was able to escape uninjured, both Thompson and Saiger were taken by ambulance to hospital following treatment at the scene of the crash. Both were confirmed as conscious by the race director Mervyn Whyte.
A female spectator was airlifted to the Royal Victoria hospital in Belfast, where her condition was described as "critical" by the Belfast Health and Social Care Trust.
The statement read: “There has been a serious incident during the opening Superstock race at the 2015 Vauxhall International North West 200.
“A crash, involving three riders, occurred on the section of the course between York Corner and Mill Road Rouandabout on the second lap of the race.
“Three riders- Dean Harrison, Stephen Thompson and Horst Saiger- were involved in the incident.
“Dean Harrison was unhurt.
“Stephen Thompson and Horst Saiger have both been taken to hospital by ambulance after being treated by the race medical team at the scene.
“A female spectator was also injured in the incident and after being treated at the scene has been taken to the Royal Victoria hospital, Belfast by helicopter.”
Road racing is notoriously one of the most dangerous sports in the world, with riders topping 200mph on the closed-off public roads of Northern Ireland at the North West 200.
On Thursday, Hungarian rider Sandor Bitter crashed during practice for the race weekend, but arrived back at the track on Saturday having been treated in hospital.Reuse content