Daniel Hegarty: English rider dies after crash at Macau Grand Prix

Girl at Christmas
The Macau Grand Prix takes place every November in the former Portuguese colony

English motorcyclist Daniel Hegarty has died after crashing against the track walls at the Macau Grand Prix.

The 31-year-old, who raced for Top Gun Honda, finished 16th on his debut at the street circuit last year.

The race organisers said: “Daniel’s family have been contacted, and the committee will ensure every assistance is extended to them.”

Northern Ireland’s Glenn Irwin was declared the winner after the event was stopped on the sixth lap.

A podium was held for the race without anthems or champagne and Irwin said it “was not a celebration”.

“It’s a very sad end to what has been a successful week,” added the Carrickfergus rider.

Macau, a resort city in southern China, has been hosting the street race for cars and motorbikes since 1954.

Irwin, riding a PBM Ducati, had started from pole position but encountered mechanical problems in the early stages of the race.

However, he managed to keep pace with England’s Peter Hickman, winner of the past two years, and had manoeuvred himself into the lead by the time the race was red-flagged.

“I thought about pulling out but I was able to stay with the guys and was able to slow down into the corners,” added Irwin.

“The win is all irrelevant now and I wouldn’t have won the race had it gone the distance.

“It’s a tragic end to the day. That’s road racing and it’s tough. I’m still pretty new to it.”

‘The pit lane was eerily silent’

BBC Northern Ireland’s Stephen Watson in Macau

The reaction of winner Glenn Irwin said it all. He was distraught as he returned to his garage after witnessing the aftermath of the high-speed crash.

The pit lane, normally alive with the sound of engines, was eerily silent, and when the riders took to the podium to accept their trophies there were no celebrations, anthems or spraying of champagne.

The motorcycling community is a very tight knit bunch and the teams and riders supported each other as the tragic news quickly filtered through.

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