By on June 4, 2015

Franck Petricola

The Isle of Man TT claimed one more Wednesday when French rider Franck Petricola succumbed to injuries caused during qualifying for this year’s events.

The 32-year-old was set to debut in the 2015 Isle of Man TT when his accident occurred at Sulby Crossroads according to BBC Sport, becoming the 141st rider to lose their life since the historic event began in 1907. Petricola nearly lost his life a year ago while practicing for the North West 200 in Northern Ireland, sustaining injuries near the start/finish line at Primrose Corner.

Course clerk Gary Thompson praised Petricola’s character as a rider while offering sympathies to the rider’s family and friends, stating the injuries he suffered at the NW200 — including multiple fractures and a head injury — would have caused “many a lesser man” to give up; Petricola competed in this year’s NW200 prior to the TT.

Practice continues Thursday evening, with the first race of the 2015 edition set to start Saturday.

[Photo credit: Franck Petricola/Facebook]

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29 Comments on “Isle Of Man TT Claims Life Of French Rider Franck Petricola...”

  • avatar

    I really don’t understand this race. Someone dies every year. What’s the point?

    • 0 avatar

      No accounting for what gets people off.

    • 0 avatar
      juicy sushi

      The point is that someone dies every year.

      It’s the same reason people go mountain climbing, run with bulls, surf and do other potentially perilous things. The notion that there is peril adds an addictive thrill that the people involved find rewarding.

      • 0 avatar

        Let’s be honest – mountain climbing, bull running and surfing aren’t big spectator sports. This event is. That whole course is lined by onlookers, most of whom have their cameras out, probably hoping they get to capture some guy buying the farm so they can post it to Youtube. That’s kind of sick, if you ask me.

        Not even auto racing (or even motorcycle racing) comes close to the death toll from this event.

        I get the need for speed and adrenaline, but there’s no way I’d put my life on the line the way these riders do, all so the crowd can get its jollies. Let ’em go find “Faces of Death” if that’s what they want. My life is not there for their amusement, thanks.

        • 0 avatar
          juicy sushi

          You wouldn’t. They would. I get the impression from their interviews that TT riders aren’t doing it for the spectators. It’s about what it does for them personally.

        • 0 avatar

          At the TT, there’s a famous spot with a sharp hill crest (where the bike is off the ground) followed by an immediate turn. How a rider negotiates that is a real measure of their skill and is something completely missing from modern racetracks. I have no desire to see any rider hurt, let alone killed, that’s not the draw at all but seeing that sequence performed flawlessly is a thing of beauty.

          Some of us watch if for the racing, the sort which can’t be seen anywhere else.

  • avatar

    Because racing.

    I have an incredible love for open wheel racing, particularly indycars from the 1960’s through today. I’d go do it in a heartbeat, knowing the reality is that I could suffer injury or death in the process. I know it doesn’t make sense, but if it’s in your blood, there’s no explaining it to someone else.

    There’s no doubt that we’ll pray for the rider’s family and we’re sad to see him lose his life, but I think we can be assured that he knew why he was there and the associated risks.

    • 0 avatar

      Waterview I really sympathize with your comment.

      I rather live a short but fulfilling life than a long and stagnated one for fear of living.

      All the best…

  • avatar

    Yeah… uh, sorry kids, Daddy won’t be coming home any more. He crashed his motorcycle going crazy fast on crappy old Limey roads in order to impress the other boys his age.

  • avatar

    The Isle of Man TT races attract thousands of motor cycle fans and have for decades. The speeds have gotten alot faster since the days of Mike Halewood. Many accidents and fatalities occur when the average motorcyclists try to emulate their heroes.
    Rideheight, I take it from your obtuse comments that you’ve never been to the Isle of Man. Crappy Limey roads they aren’t.

  • avatar

    They look really cool, but they are nothing but suppliers to the organ recipient list.

    I’d much rather go fast in an armored car.

  • avatar

    Revenue for the Manx government. Sure I’ve seen some old George Formby.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    I do watch the Isle of Man when I can, crazy stuff.

    If I remember in 2013 there were already something like 276 killed during this event and the leadup events at the Isle of Man.

    I suppose this guy thought he could beat the odds, but the odds caught up.

    As, for RideHeights comments, they are similar to many who comment on TTAC. It shows that even in a world with massive and cheap mobility there as some who have travelled no further than an adjacent county.

  • avatar

    As a street rider (in an uncontrolled riding environment as well) I know one-tenth of the thrill that these riders feel, and understand why they do it.
    That said, I wish they would try to make the course safer (where possible).

    Edit: I took a 6-mile ride yesterday and had to swerve around a wild turkey (about 15 lbs) that decided to step out on the road in front of me – it easily could have been a deer.

    • 0 avatar

      I hit a deer at 60mph last November. Totaled a very beloved Triumph that I’d had for 19 years, since new, and 117k miles.

      And, two days later, I was back on my Harley – my other bike.

      I’ve been riding 39 years now, I’ve crashed a couple of times, I’ve ended up in the hospital twice. And I’ll still be riding tomorrow. And when the day comes that I cannot hold two wheels up anymore, I’ll add a third wheel (trike or preferably a side car combination) and keep riding.

      And the day I can’t ride anymore? I’m dead. Maybe I’ll still be shuffling around with a cane, or bedridden, but effectively I’m dead.

      I neither have the talent, nor the nerve to ride the Isle of Man course at speed, but I’d still love to go there someday and put a couple of laps down. Or get out there on Mad Sunday and see just who I’m fast then.

      Probably won’t happen, I blew my one good chance fifteen years ago to take my Speed Triple over for the races. And the closest I’ve ever come to that was doing a lap on the Indianapolis MotoGP course on my ’69 Bonneville cafe racer at speed (wasn’t supposed to, got in a bit of trouble for that) with my late wife on the back. Last weekend we rode together, her health went shortly after. And I’ll still remember the guy on the Ducati 996 that I slipped under and passed on the right/left to the finish line straight.

      You guys who call them ‘donorcycles’, you’ll never understand, you’ll never have a clue. Keep your nice safe little existance. It’d probably bore the hell out of me.

      • 0 avatar
        Pete Kohalmi

        I’m right there with you Syke. I’ve been riding for 20 years and cannot imagine NOT owning a bike. Most of my riding is commuting to work but those Sunday morning rides in the mountains are magical. The 95% who don’t ride will never understand. There’s no use trying to explain.

        As for the Isle of Man, it is the ultimate test of skill and courage on two wheels. I hope to witness it first-hand one day. The racers and the spectators know exactly what they’re getting into.

  • avatar

    Here in the upper mid-west deer are a problem. Especially right now with all the yearlings getting kicked out.

  • avatar

    I have caution genes. I wouldn’t get on a motorcycle, or donorcycle, as I prefer to call them. I am very careful to weigh the risks of any activity against the pleasure I think I’ll get from it (I did ride a bicycle across the country, wearing Bell hard-shelled helmet, serial # 7022).

    People who ride this race undoubtedly have a very different genetic makeup, and some day, scientists will sort out that genetics.

    Undoubtedly, both types were needed in hunter-gatherer bands, and probably both types still have their places in society.

    But there are probably safer ways for sensation seekers to get what they need than this race

    • 0 avatar
      juicy sushi

      It’s the lack of safety that’s why they get the sensation. That’s why they keep coming back.

    • 0 avatar

      I’d get on a bike, no problem. But would I go balls-out down some course at 150 mph, lined by spectators who all have their cameras out hoping to catch the moment I buy it so they can post it on Youtube?

      No f**king way. Let them get their jollies elsewhere.

      • 0 avatar
        juicy sushi

        Why? They want to race there, the TT is organized for them to do so.

        It’s their choice. Should all motorcycle riding be banned as potentially fatal?

        • 0 avatar

          He’s not saying it should be banned. He’s saying he’s not going to die on this course so that the spectators can get their youtube shots from him.

          But in a truly fair, but libertarian society, people who chose to participate in this would have their health insurance premiums elevated above those of others, to pay for the cost of dealing with those who are injured, rather than killed instantly.

  • avatar

    ‘would have caused “many a lesser man” to give up’

    I find that sentiment morbidly hilarious. That “lesser man” wouldn’t be dead from race qualifying. I support the notion of getting back on the horse. However, the chances of him being severely injured again or killed seem statistically significant compared to say a surfer getting back in the water after Jaws nibbled off a limb.

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