Simon Andrews: English rider dies after North West 200 crash

Simon Andrews

Motorcyclist Simon Andrews has died as a result of the injuries he sustained at Saturday's North West 200 motorcycling races in Northern Ireland.

A statement from North West 200 organisers said that the 29-year-old had passed away on Monday.

The injured motorcyclist was taken to the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast by helicopter after the accident in the Superstock race.

The English rider was from Evesham in Worcestershire.

Last year, Andrews suffered serious injuries in the Le Mans 24-Hour race and was also involved in a number of other major accidents during his career, suffering a broken leg at Snetterton in 2011.

Saturday's incident happened at the Metropole section of the 8.9-mile North West circuit.

Simon Andrews: Family 'devastated' by motorcyclist's death

It was the second serious crash at this year's North West 200 meeting.

On Tuesday, Franck Petricola crashed during a practice session.

The French rider, 29, is being treated at the Royal Victoria Hospital and is said to be in a "critical condition".

Andrews, who was competing for the BMW team at Saturday's meeting, died in the Belfast hospital with his parents, Stuart and Dee, and his girlfriend, Lisa, by his bedside.

His father said that the rider "loved road racing and he loved competing at the North West 200".

"He has had a motorbike since he was four years-old and started racing when he was 16," he added.

"From that first race, Simon progressed to riding for the factory Honda TT Legends team and his mum and I are very proud of his racing achievements.

"Road racing was in his blood and Simon preferred the roads to short circuits. He was fully aware of the dangers involved, but he loved the challenge that offered."

The rider first competed at the North West 200 in 2011 and according to his father, grew to love the event.

"Simon always said the North West fans were the most knowledgeable in the world as they knew everything about the sport and the bikes.

"Ireland had a special place in his heart as he scored his first ever championship point in a meeting at Mondello Park," added Mr Andrews, who revealed that the rider's organs had been donated following his death, as was his wish.

North West 200 event director Mervyn Whyte spoke of a "very sad day" and offered his condolences to the rider's family.

"Simon was a superb rider and a great character in the paddock," added the North West 200 chief.

"He was a huge asset to our race. It was an absolute pleasure to work with him and he was always very helpful when we asked for his assistance. He will be sadly missed by everyone at the North West 200."

In addition to his road racing career, Andrews was also a regular competitor in the British Superbike Championship and he also participated in four World Superbikes races in 2009 and 2010.

Andrews is the fourth competitor to have died at the Northern Ireland meeting in the last six years.

Robert Dunlop, the event's all-time leading winner, lost his life after a crash in practice in 2008, which was the first North West 200 death since Donny Robinson died in 1999.

County Tyrone rider Mark Young died following a crash at the Mather's Cross section of the circuit in 2009 while Scottish competitor Mark Buckley was killed at the 2012 meeting.