The ACU Events Ltd organization responsible for running the 2013 Isle of Man TT has announced that Japanese rider Yoshinari Matsushita was killed during the combined Supersport/Superstock untimed practice session today. The accident reportedly happened at Ballacrye, a very fast, flat-out-in-sixth-gear section that also has pavement “jump” that launches the riders into the air at over 140 mph; it is considered one of the most challenging sections of the Snaefell Mountain Course. The practice session—which had been delayed due to rain and was then subsequently labeled an untimed practice session because of the challenging conditions with some areas wet and others dry—was immediately red-flagged for the incident.
Matsushita, 43, from Saitama, Japan, was a late addition to the Tyco Suzuki team (who are also fielding heralded Australian newcomer—and BSB regular—Josh Brookes and roadracing veteran Guy Martin). He had competed at the TT since 2009 in both the Superbike and Superstock classes, with a best finish of fifth in the 2011 TT Zero electric bike race.
Gary Thompson, MBE, Clerk of the Course, ACU, commented in the press release that, “Yoshi was a really popular competitor who had a large number of friends in the TT Races paddock. He was a genuine and friendly character who always had time for everyone. He will be sorely missed.”