MotoGP has led the tributes to Gary McLaren who died during New Year’s Eve celebrations in Thailand.

McLaren, who worked for Suzuki’s MotoGP team before joining the International Road-Racing Teams Association (IRTA), died when a firework he was trying to ignite exploded in his hands at a New Year’s Eve party in Pattaya, Thailand.

A Foreign Office spokesperson says they are supporting the family of a British person who died in Thailand on New Year’s Eve.

Given his strong connections to both the teams and the championship organisers in the MotoGP paddock, the series has led the tributes to McLaren and his family.

“Terrible news this morning. Our colleague and friend, Gary McLaren from IRTA passed away last night,” MotoGP’s social media posts said. “Our thoughts are with his loved ones. He will be sorely missed.”

“We are very shocked and sad to learn of the death of Gary McLaren,” Suzuki tweeted. “Gary worked as a Data Acquisition Engineer at Suzuki for 11 years, and remained a good friend to us all while he continued working in the paddock for IRTA. Our thoughts with his loved ones, we’ll really miss him!”

MotoGP broadcasters in the United Kingdom BT Sport added: “Everyone at BT Sport is saddened to hear the news of the passing of Gary McLaren. A beloved member of the MotoGP paddock.”

McLaren, from Corby in Northamptonshire, previously worked as a Data Acquisition Engineer for the factory Suzuki team for 11 years before moving to IRTA who works with all teams and the series organisers.

In a statement released by the Thai Tourist Police, it said: “Around midnight, Mr McLaren attempted to light up a large firework, but it failed to go off at first. After that, it suddenly exploded and killed him at the scene.” would also like to pass on thoughts and best wishes to Gary’s family at this tragic time.



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