A Manx motorcycle ace has died at the Isle of Man TT Races – just weeks after getting his season off to a winning and record-breaking start at Tandragee.
Dan Kneen died during a practice session on his home turf on Wednesday night.
The rider was in dazzling form in Co Armagh over the May Day Bank Holiday weekend.
He won two races including the feature race and set a lap record.
The 30-year-old was looking forward to the season ahead.
But the Douglas resident had an accident at Churchtown tonight, riding for the Tyco BMW Team.
Clerk of the Tandragee 100 course, Anne Forsythe, said it was “very, very sad news”.
She described him as a “lovely lad” and offered her sympathies and “thoughts and prayers with his partner, family and friends”.
Former clerk of the course RJ Woolsey said he was “such a humble lovely man”. He said he had called into Lynas’ in Richhill after the Tandragee 100 “for a feed”.
After hearing of tonight’s tragedy, he added: “I hate this part of the sport.”
Among the others tributes was one from the Armoy Motorcycle Road Racing Club which said it was “truly devastated to hear about the death of Dan Kneen, after he was involved in an incident at tonight’s Isle of Man TT practice”.
“The popular Manx rider raced at Armoy several times and was a fan favourite around our circuit. He was one of the nicest fellas in the racing paddock and will be greatly missed,” a statement added.
“Our deepest sympathy goes to Dan‘s partner Leanne, his family, the Tyco team and wider friends and family circle.”