Road race crash victim Jamie Hodson had tweeted about his joy at taking part in his first Ulster Grand Prix three weeks before the accident that claimed his life.
The 35-year-old English rider died on Thursday after a crash on the Joey’s Windmill section of the circuit during the Dundrod 150.
His brother Rob was involved in the same incident, but was not seriously hurt and was later discharged from hospital.
The death of the reigning Manx Supertwin champion was the second of three accidents to date to hit this year’s race meeting.
Templepatrick man Steven Lynd (36) was rushed to hospital on Wednesday after a crash during a Dundrod 150 practice session.
On Thursday Gavin Lupton, from Otley in West Yorkshire, was injured after a crash during the Dundrod 150 Challenge race.
The Belfast Health and Social Care Trust confirmed yesterday that both Mr Lynd and Mr Lupton were in a critical condition in the intensive care unit of the Royal Victoria Hospital.
Shortly after Mr Hodson’s death, the Dundrod & District Motorcycle Club expressed its “sincere condolences to Jamie’s family and friends”.
On July 20 Wigan man Mr Hodson tweeted: “Looking forward to getting to the @UlsterGrandPrix for this first time in a couple of weeks @StevieRRN should be a great experience.”
His last two posts on Twitter paid tribute to fellow riders killed in other racing accidents.
On August 3, referring to the death of Spaniard Angel Nieto, he posted: “RIP Angel Nieto 12+1 times world champion! Very sad news, thoughts with his family and friends, an actual legend of our sport gone.”
Then, on August 7, referring to the death of disabled King’s Lynn superbike driver Mark Fincham, he posted: “Saddened to read of the passing of a fellow racer yesterday at Thruxton, thoughts with his family and friends, rest in peace buddy.”
Social media tributes from the motorcycling fraternity poured in in the wake of Mr Hodson’s death.
John McGuinness, 23-time TT winner and six-time NW200 winner, said: “My thoughts & prayers r with the loss of 1 of our racing family Jamie Hodson RIP lad, it’s been a pleasure, 2 races with you & your old man.”
Sixteen-time Isle of Man TT winner Ian Hutchinson wrote: “A lovely family racing together lost a member today Jamie Hodson thinking of you.”
Manx Grand Prix director Jim Hunter commented: “List of Manx GP winners we’ve lost to our sport in 2 years doesn’t bear looking at. HEARTFELT condolences to the Hodson family at this time.”
The Medical Team of the Motorcycle Union of Ireland (MCUI) said it was “saddened to learn” of Jamie’s death. It added: “Our thoughts are with his family and team at this time, and also with the other riders who remain in hospital following the incidents.”
In response to queries from the Belfast Telegraph regarding safety measures in place at the crash sites, an Ulster Grand Prix spokeswoman said that, at Joey’s Windmill, “all hardware is protected by Recticel safety barriers”.
Regarding the exit of Loughers, where Mr Lynd crashed, she stated: “There is removable fencing along this part of the course – it is taken out for the race given a run-off area.”
She added that these sections of the course had been “inspected and signed off” by stewards from the MCUI governing body after the roads closed on Thursday, “as they are every day before practice or racing can commence”.
“Hundreds of thousands of pounds have been spent on safety improvements at the circuit over the past decade,” the spokeswoman added.
“Safety is a matter of utmost importance and is reviewed on a regular and ongoing basis, a process that involves event stakeholders including the PSNI, Fire & Rescue Service, NI Ambulance Service, local council, MCUI medical team, independent safety advisors and club members.
“An event management and safety plan is discussed and agreed by all aforementioned bodies.”
The PSNI said: “Police can confirm that a 35-year-old man died following a collision at the Ulster Grand Prix on Thursday, August 10.
“An investigation into the collision is ongoing by police on behalf of the coroner, as this was a sudden death.”