Biker Franck Petricola killed in Isle of Man TT qualifying

Sad: Franck Petricola
Sad: Franck Petricola

French motorbike racer Frank Petricola was killed in an accident during qualifying for the Isle of Man TT Race yesterday.

The 32-year-old died after an accident at Sulby Crossroads in last night's qualifying session. He is the 141st rider to die at the event since it began in 1907.

Petricola only returned to racing this year following a horror crash that nearly killed him. He was not expected to survive - let alone race again - when he suffered his horrific injuries in practice for the North West last year. 

He suffered two vertebrae, his left arm, his right elbow and right leg, several ribs and perforated lungs, but the most serious injury was to his head.

A statement regarding his death was released by the race organisers last night.

"ACU Events Ltd regrets to announce that French rider Franck Petricola (32) from Pont a Mousson was killed following an accident at Sulby Crossroads at approximately 7.45pm during this evening's qualifying session at the Isle of Man TT races.

"Petricola was a regular competitor in the IRRC Championship and enjoyed his best season in 2013, with 11th overall in the Superbike category. His best result, sixth, came at Chimay and he ended the year strongly with six successive top 10 finishes and took a brace of thirds in the Lightweight Races at Horice and Terlicko.

"He was due to make his TT debut in 2014 but was injured in the North West 200 meeting earlier in the month and was forced to withdraw from last year's event. He returned to full fitness and raced at Scarborough and the North West 200 where he finished 25th in the Superstock race and 21st in the Superbike Race.

"The ACU wishes to pass on their deepest sympathy to Franck's family and friends. The Coroner of Inquests has been informed and an investigation into the circumstances of the accident is under way."