The Manx Grand Prix has been hit by tragedy after a rider was killed during final practice on the infamous Mountain Course last night.

Steve Osborne, a newcomer who hails from the Isle of Man, fell on the approach to Quarterbridge at Alexander Drive.

The 60-year-old was taken to Nobles Hospital but died from his injuries.

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The practice session was abandoned around 7.10pm following the incident.

In a statement issued this morning, Harvey Garton, Chairman of the Manx Motor Cycle Club, said: "Steve was one of the great characters around the Manx Grand Prix paddock and was a well known figure in the local racing scene.

"It's a great loss to the sport and on behalf of the Club I would like to extend my deepest sympathy to his son Stuart and his friends and family."

The statement revealed that Mr Osborne, an IT consultant with the Isle of Man Government, first competed on a home-built BSA Bantam with the Formula Bantam Racing Club at Llandow in 1967 at the age of 16.

His son Stuart was a newcomer in last year's Manx Grand Prix and Steve was a member of his support team and pit crew during the 2011 event.

Mr Osborne finished in fifth place in this year's Support race at the Pre-TT Classic meeting on a 500cc Suzuki.

He was married and his next of kin has been informed.

Tonight, the opening race of the 2012 festival - the Newcomers event - is scheduled for a 5.30pm start.