Isle of Man TT tragedy as sidecar passenger becomes second death of this year's event

Olivier Lavorel was competing in his first Isle of Man TT

Published

A French sidecar passenger has become the second death to rock this year's Isle of Man TT.

Olivier Lavorel, 35, was killed in an accident at Ago's Leap during the first lap of the race yesterday.

Driver Cesar Chanel was airlifted to hospital and remains in a critical condition. The pair were competing in their first ever Isle of Man TT.

In a statement, organisers said: "The Isle of Man TT Races pass on their deepest sympathy to Olivier's family, friends and loved ones, and our thoughts and best wishes are with Cesar at this time."

Olivier Lavorel
Olivier Lavorel

Welsh rider Mark Purslow has died after crashing in the Isle of Man TT Races qualifying session at the age of 29.

The classic racer was on his third lap of the session at Ballagarey, between the third and fourth-mile markers of the circuit, when the incident occurred on Wednesday.

The Isle of Man TT Races confirmed Purslow’s death in a statement, adding that the race would continue “with Mark in mind”.

“2022 was Mark’s second appearance at the Isle of Man TT Races, having previously contested the Supersport and Lightweight races in 2017,” the statement said.

“He had graduated from the Manx Grand Prix where he had won the 2015 Lightweight Race on his debut, and he had also competed at the Classic TT securing a best finish of 14th in the 2019 Junior Classic TT.

Mark Purslow
Mark Purslow

“Mark grew up around racing and was inspired by his father’s love of the sport. He typified the spirit of the privateer TT racer, preparing his own machinery with the support of friends and family.

“Road racing was his passion – competing in Northern Ireland and Europe in the International Road Racing Championship – but becoming a TT racer was a life’s ambition that represented the ultimate personal challenge.”

Earlier in the qualifying session, the rider, from Llanon, Ceredigion in Wales, had set his fastest ever lap of the TT Mountain Course at 120.86mph, the race organiser said.

His first lap was in excess of 120mph, it added, describing Purslow as an “experienced classic racer”.

“We would like to extend our deepest condolences to Mark’s family, loved ones, and friends,” the statement concluded.