Japanese road racer Yoshinari Matsushita was killed today in an incident at Ballacrye during a qualifying session at this year’s Isle of Man TT.
It was recently announced that the 43-year-old rider from Saitama, Japan was joining the Tyco Suzuki team and was to compete in both four-lap Supersport races. He was to be assisted by former Suzuki rider Mitsuo Ito, who with his 1963 50cc Ultra-Lightweight TT race win is the only Japanese rider to have ever won a TT race.
Matsushita was an experienced racer who started competing at the TT races in 2009. In addition to the Supersport class he was entered in this year, he had previously competed in the Superstock, Superbike, and the TT Zero electric bike class. Matsushita was also a 2008 Motegi Endurance race winner.
The ACU [Auto Club Union] issued a statement that expressed the organization’s deepest sympathies to Yoshinari’s family and friends.
“Yoshi was a really popular competitor who had a large number of friends in the TT Races paddock,” said Gary Thompson, MBE, Clerk of the Course, ACU. “He was a genuine and friendly character who always had time for everyone. He will be sorely missed.”
The statement said that an investigation of the accident was underway.