Yorkshire rider James Cowton has been killed in a crash at the Southern 100 on the Isle of Man.
The 26-year-old, from Driffield, was competing in the 600 Challenge race – the final event of this year’s meeting – for Northern Ireland’s McAdoo Racing team when the fatal accident occurred.
The incident happened at Stadium Corner on the 4.25-mile Billown course, forcing a red flag situation.
A statement issued by the organisers said: 'The Southern 100 MCRC, organisers of the Southern 100 International Road Races, regret to announce that following an incident involving four-competitors at Stadium Bends during the 600cc Challenge race, Driffield rider, James Cowton succumbed to his injuries. (Of) The other riders involved, Ivan Lintin is in a critical condition, whilst Jamie Coward has shoulder injuries and Mickey Evans leg and arm injuries.
'Southern 100 Racing extends it sincere condolences to family, relatives and friends of James Cowton at this very sad time. The organisers are carrying out a full investigation in conjunction with Isle of Man Constabulary into the circumstances of the incident on behalf of the Coroner of Inquests.'
The event was called off as the emergency services attended the scene. Sections of the course remained closed for a time.
Cowton was in his second full season with the Cookstown-based McAdoo Racing team. He clinched a major win at the North West 200 in May, sealing victory in the Saturday Supertwins race.
He secured a series of podium finishes on Thursday on the Isle of Man, taking the runner-up spot in the first 600 race behind Dean Harrison before finishing third in the Senior race, which was won by Harrison from Ivan Lintin.
Cowton then pushed his McAdoo team-mate Adam McLean all the way in the Supertwins race, but had to settle for the runner-up spot by a whisker. In the feature Solo Championship race, he crossed the line in fourth behind Harrison, Lintin and newcomer Davey Todd.
The tragic news comes during a terrible few days for road racing, with top Ulster rider William Dunlop losing his life in an incident during practice for the Skerries 100 on Saturday in County Dublin.
On Monday, Tom Robinson from North Yorkshire was critically injured after crashing during practice for the Supersport class at the Southern 100.