Isle Of Man TT Claims Life Of French Rider Franck Petricola

Cameron Aubernon
by Cameron Aubernon
isle of man tt claims life of french rider 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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  • Shaker Shaker on Jun 05, 2015

    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.

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    • Pete Kohalmi Pete Kohalmi on Jun 05, 2015

      @Syke 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.

  • Flipper35 Flipper35 on Jun 05, 2015

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

  • David C. Holzman David C. Holzman on Jun 05, 2015

    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

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    • David C. Holzman David C. Holzman on Jun 05, 2015

      @juicy sushi 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.

  • Johnny_5.0 Johnny_5.0 on Jun 05, 2015

    '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.

    • FreedMike FreedMike on Jun 05, 2015

      "Jaws"? That's "Bruce the shark" to all of us, thanks...