Motorcyclist dies at Killarney

South African motorcyle legend Gavin Ramsay in action. Picture: Dave Abrahams

South African motorcycle champion Gavin Ramsay, 53, was killed on Saturday February 4 at the international Passion for Speed race at Killarney, bringing a premature close to the annual meeting.

The Boksburg father of two died as a result of multiple injuries sustained in a crash after he lost control of his Suzuki in the second SA TT race.

Des Easom, executive manager of the Killarney International Raceway, told Tabletalk that Mr Ramsay was racing in the Isle of Man motorcycle category.

“Gavin was an experienced rider and a multiple South African champion. He lost control of his Suzuki in the braking zone for KFM Corner just after the start of lap three, after another motorcycle, ridden by Gary Hunter, had fallen seconds earlier and the motorcycle was still lying on the edge of the circuit. Mr Hunter was unhurt and got up.”

Mr Easom said Mr Ramsay was treated by a medical team on site but succumbed to his injuries.

“As the news came that he had passed away, the steward of the race closed the race meeting out of respect to him and his family.”

Mr Easom said: “We offer our sincere condolences to his wife, Debbie, and his two children and family.

“Any fatality in a race is always tragic, and we take constant measures to make racing as safe as possible. As per normal practice, an investigation into his crash by both the club and Motorsport South Africa, the controlling body for motorsport, has commenced.”

Mr Easom added that the necessary flag signals had been out to warn other riders of the initial crash.

He confirmed that double yellow flags were placed to indicate extreme danger and were also there to indicate that competitors must be prepared to stop were most definitely waved.

According to FIA (the international governing body of motor sport) regulations, a double-waved flag signal warns motorcyclists to reduce speed, not to overtake and to be prepared to change direction.

Table View police spokeswoman Adriana Chandler said the police were called to the track after the crash and confirmed an investigation was under way.

A week earlier, Ramsay won the first leg of the SA TT races at a Passion for Speed event at Zwartkops near Pretoria.