Motocross rider dies after crashing during world record practice

Promising and highly-talented daredevil freestyle motocross rider Tyrone Gilks has died after a training run to break a world record ended in horrifying circumstances.

The 19-year-old from Lake Macquarie was taken to John Hunter Hospital on Thursday morning with critical chest injuries after failing to make a 90-metre jump at Maitland Showground.

He passed away during surgery on Thursday night.

Ambulance services were called to the showground about 10.35am following reports a man had come off his motorbike.

The young rider was practising for a world-record breaking jump planned for Saturday night at the Maitland Bike and Hot Rod Show.

Gilks had previously smashed records riding on 65cc, 85cc and 125cc motorcycles and was looking to take on Robbie Maddison’s benchmark of 94.61metres on a 250cc.

He told the Newcastle Herald last week the plan was to hit full speed for almost 1000 metres before hitting a take-off ramp, flying through the air for almost 100 metres and then hitting a short landing ramp.

Gilks’ father, Kevin, said his son had launched himself 85-metres off a ramp when the practice run went horribly wrong.

As the news travelled through social media hundreds of tributes flooded onto Gilks’ Facebook and Instagram pages.

‘‘Cannot believe such a young enthusiastic rider was taken from us :( greatest condolences to his family and friends. Ride In Peace Tyrone Gilks,’’ one post read.

Another said: ‘‘U will never be forgotten ever u were one of my true mates and never replaceable u will always live on with us’’.

A tribute page, ‘‘R.I.P Tyrone Gilks’’, was set-up about 8.30 on Thursday night and had more than 7000 ‘‘likes’’ within a couple of hours.

One of its posts read: ‘‘another young rider, a life snatched away just like that, its horrible and im sure there are many tears shed tonight, just keep in mind only the good die young’’.

Tributes on Twitter also flowed from around the world with national and international motorsport magazines expressing their condolences.

Fox Head Australia posted a photo of Gilks with the message ‘‘We love you, mate. Rest in peace Tyrone Gilks’’.

Gilks is the second freestyle motocross rider to die within a month after Japanese rider Eigo Sato, 34, died during training in February.

Newcastle Herald

The story Motocross rider dies after crashing during world record practice first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.

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