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NW200: Irish team stunned by death of Mitchell-Thomas

'He loved life and racing and the talent and enthusiasm just bubbled out of him. He was a joy to be around' - John Burrows.
Irish race team owner John Burrows says the tragic death of young prospect Malachi Mitchell-Thomas at the North West 200 has spoken of his shock over the tragedy.

The 20-year-old, who joined Burrows' Cookstown/B.E. Racing team for 2016, came off while holding third place in Saturday's Supertwins race and sadly died at the scene.

Burrows, himself a former racer, has been left reeling by the accident: The whole team has been devastated by Malachi's death, to be honest everyone is in a state of shock.

“Of course, Malachi's loss will be felt most by his family and his close friends and I'd like to offer my heartfelt condolences to his nearest and dearest.

“Malachi had only been with the team a few months but he quickly became part of the family and we will all miss him so much. He loved life and racing and the talent and enthusiasm just bubbled out of him. He was a joy to be around,” Burrows added.

“Before he started the Supertwins race he had a massive smile on his face as he has just ridden the race of his life, finishing fourth in the Supersport race ahead of the likes of Dean Harrison, John McGuinness and James Hillier. I will never forget that smile, it's just so cruel that we have lost him.”

Burrows was also due to run Peter Hickman at the Isle of Man TT this year in the Lightweight race on a Kawasaki Supertwins, but says his plans are on hold for now.

“I've been asked what my racing plans are but for now my thoughts are with Malachi's family,” he said.

“Malachi's father Kevin wants the team to race on but I want time to consider everything and I'll make an announcement in due course.

“In the immediate future all I'm focused on is giving my support to Malachi's family and helping the team get through a very difficult period.”

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Malachi Mitchell-Thomas
Gary Johnson will run his own team at TT 2017.
Lee Johnston has teamed up with Ryan Farquhar to race a KMR Kawasaki in the NI Air Ambulance colours at the North West 200 and Isle of Man TT.
Alastair Seeley with the Tyco BMW he will race at the North West 200.
John McGuinness on the Jackson Racing Honda.
Guy Martin, John McGuinness Honda Racing, [Credit: Honda Racing]
Josh Brookes has signed to ride for Norton at the Isle of Man TT in 2017.
Dan Hegarty won the TT Privateers Championship in 2016.
Peter Hickman will ride for Smiths Racing in 2017 at the international road races and in the British Superbike Championship.
Michael Rutter and John McGuinness during the pre-event press conference ahead of the 50th Macau Motorcycle Grand Prix.
Action from the 2016 North West 200
Michael Dunlop on the Team Classic Suzuki XR69 during the Classic Superbike race at the Classic TT.
Michael Dunlop on the Black Eagle MV Agusta at the Classic TT.
Michael Dunlop on the Black Eagle MV Agusta at the Classic TT.
Bruce Anstey won the Lightweight race at the Classic TT on the Padgetts Honda RS250.
John McGuinness on the Winfield Paton at the Classic TT.
Bruce Anstey on the Padgetts RS250 Honda at the Classic TT.
Dean Harrison on the Silicone Engineering Kawasaki at the Classic TT.

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May 17, 2016 9:32 AM

jfc1: how can you be stunned by the death of anyone who roadraces it's practically predicatable
As you are clearly not a race fan, why bother even commenting on something you know nothing about? Very sad event and it affected everyone who was there that day. It's a dangerous sport and deaths do happen. Without the risk though these heroes would find some other way to fire up their engines. Just be glad that there are people like Malachi to give our own lives some perspective.


May 17, 2016 10:39 AM

Everyone will miss Malachi's effervescent enthusiasm. He had the cheek and good looks of a young Barry S and brought a sparkle to the paddock. On Irish TV his Dad showed dignity and bravery when talking about him.

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