British Superbike Championship leader Tommy Hill has led the tributes being paid to Superstock 600 rider Ben Gautrey, who was tragically killed in an accident at Cadwell Park.
Eighteen-year-old Gautrey was involved in a multi-bike pile-up at The Mountain and was unavoidably struck by following riders. Despite the best efforts of the circuit medical staff, Gautrey would succumb to his injuries.
Casting a shadow on the day's proceedings at Cadwell Park, several high-profile riders and team managers took the time to express their grief at the loss of such a young life.
“My thoughts are with the family of Ben Gautrey after his accident today,” said Tommy Hill. “The riders in the other classes generally aspire to be doing what we are and I want to send my condolences and dedicate my third win to them.”
MSS Colchester Kawasaki team manager Nick Morgan, added: “This weekend has been one to forget, nothing seemed to go our way but at the end of the day it all pales into insignificance after the sad news of Benjamin Gautrey's death (Kawasaki Superstock 600 rider). All our thoughts are with his family and friends in this terrible time.”
On a black weekend for motorcycling, Gautrey's death came shortly after it was confirmed promising road racer Wayne Hamilton had died in the Manx Grand Prix. His death, in turn, came just two days after Adrian McFarland was tragically killed during a race in the Czech Republic. Relentless by TAS Suzuki team manager Philip Neill paid tribute to all three.
“On behalf of the whole team, we would like to pass on our deepest sympathy to Ben Gautrey's family circle, after the young man tragically lost his life today at Cadwell Park. We'd also like to mention local men Wayne Hamilton and good friend of TAS Racing, Adrian McFarland, who also sadly lost their lives in separate road racing crashes at the weekend.”
The Superstock 600 race itself was won by Freddie Russo, a new winner for the junior category. However, the AP Kawasaki rider says his thoughts are focused on Gautrey's friends and family at this time.
“Naturally, to get my first major win was a memorable moment but my joy was tempered once I leaned the news about Ben Gautrey's tragic accident. to take my first win is brilliant so a big thanks to everyone for the part they've played, but right now, my thoughts are with Ben's friends and family."