A WORCESTERSHIRE motorcyclist has died two days after a serious crash during a superbike race in Northern Ireland.
Organisers from the North West 200 road race announced the death of the Vale of Evesham's Simon Andrews on Monday night after he suffered fatal injuries in the event's Superstock race on Saturday.
The rider, whose website said he was 29, was approaching the corner of the fourth lap when the incident happened.
He was airlifted to Belfast's Royal Victoria Hospital and placed in intensive care but died from his injuries on Monday.
Paying tribute to his son, who rode for the Penz13.com BMW team, his father, Stuart, said the rider had always had a love of the motorsport.
"Simon loved road racing and he loved competing at the North West 200," he said.
"He has had a motorbike since he was four years old and started racing when he was 16. From that first race Simon progressed to riding for the factory Honda TT Legends team and his mum and I are very proud of his racing achievements.
"He was fully aware of the dangers involved but he loved the challenge that that offered."
Mr Andrews made his road racing debut at the North West 200 in 2011 and won his first championship point in a meeting at Mondello Park Intentional Racing Circuit, in Co Kildare, Ireland.
"Throughout his career Simon has always been involved with various charities and that is why we have made a donation of his organs today. Simon always wanted that to happen," Mr Andrews added.
No stranger to collisions in his career, Mr Andrews had had a serious crash at 150mph in September at the 24-hour Lé Mans race. As well as having to piece together his memory of the incident, he also had to learn to walk again and undergo a lot of therapy.
In his blog he said, "I have drawn a line under it now and I am moving on".
Having recovered from this, motorsport journalist Alan Heal said the rider was looking forward to the new season.
He said: "I saw Simon at Brands Hatch [race circuit, in Kent] a few weeks ago and after recovering from horrific injuries from a crash at Lé Mans last year, he was as enthusiastic as ever about this season.
"As well as competing in the British Superbike series, he was a firm favourite for podium finishes this year on the Road Race Circuits like the Isle of Man and the North West 200 as well as the World Endurance Championship with RAF Reserves & Honda TT Legends Teams.
"I first met Simon in 1999 and he immediately made an impression on my wife and I as a charming young man with an infectious smile and a real passion for motorcycle racing.
"He was a great friend of Evesham Team JD Racing and will be sorely missed."
In a statement issued by the North West 200, event director Mervyn Whyte said: "Simon was a superb rider and a great character in the paddock.
"He was a huge asset to our race. It was an absolute pleasure to work with him and he was always very helpful when we asked for his assistance.
"He will be sadly missed by everyone at the North West 200."
A local lad who we were honoured to welcome to the factory many times, you will be sorely missed. RIP Simon Andrews pic.twitter.com/I5Jq6T58WC— Morgan Motor Company (@morganmotor) May 20, 2014
Sad to hear simon Andrews was killed at north west 200. RIP MATE. Another star in the sky . Condolences to all family and friends.....— Troy Corser (@TroyCorser11) May 20, 2014
Sad to hear the tragic news about Simon Andrews. Race In Peace Si…— ScottReddingOfficial (@scottredding45) May 19, 2014
Sad Times...Simon Andrews passing today. More Resolve and Bravery than a highly decorated General...Thoughts are with friends and Family RIP— Stalker (@CWStalker9) May 19, 2014
Such sad news to hear about Simon Andrews RIP mate. Thoughts and wishes to all his family..— leon haslam (@realleonhaslam) May 19, 2014
So sad to hear Simon Andrews has passed away, my thoughts go out to his family and friends.— Ian Hutchinson (@tweethutchy) May 19, 2014
My thoughts are with Simon Andrews' family and friends. Another great loss in motorcycle racing.— James Toseland (@JamesMToseland) May 19, 2014
Nothing in the world of sport is as compelling and courageous as motorcycle roadracing. Nor is there anything as deadly. #RIP Simon Andrews.— Matt Kelly (@mk1969) May 19, 2014
So sad to hear #SimonAndrews has passed away. Thoughts with his family at this time.— Steve Parrish (@Stavros6) May 19, 2014
RIP Simon Andrews. All our thoughts with his family and friends.— Pata Honda Team (@PataHonda) May 19, 2014
Very sorry to hear that Simon Andrews has now passed away. All our thoughts are with his friends and family at this time. Godspeed, Si.— PaddockChatter (@PaddockChatter) May 19, 2014
R.I.P. Simon Andrews. You will be greatly missed. Our condolences to his family.— TwistAndRisk (@TwistAndRisk) May 19, 2014