Superbike racer dies following Mont Tremblant crash
John Ross MacRae is seen here in a photo taken by John R. Walker of oneword Photography.
Published Tuesday, August 27, 2013 5:20PM EDT
Last Updated Tuesday, August 27, 2013 7:48PM EDT
The weekend death of a motorcycle racer in Mont Tremblant has sent shock waves through the sport.
John Ross MacRae, 24, died in a Montreal hospital early Sunday morning after he crashed on Saturday at the Mopar Canadian Superbike Championship (MCSC) in Mont Tremblant.
According to the Canadian Superbike Championship's website, he was on a qualifying lap for the season finale when he was involved in a crash on turn one.
Darren James, owner and racer with Ruthless Racing, the team to which MacRae belonged, was on the track, behind MacRae at the time he crashed. "I witnessed the whole thing happen 10 feet in front of me. I could see that J.R. was crashing and he wasn't going to hit the air fence."
He says that he missed the air fence, a barrier meant to protect riders from serious injury in the event of a crash, by about two feet.
"I've seen bad accidents - I knew it was as serious as it possibly could be."
James said that, following the crash, he rode his bike right off the track and into a gravel trap. "I threw my bike down and just ran to J.R. I was the first at the scene, I laid down next to him.
"I didn't want to touch him, I just wanted the paramedics there and they were there fast. I watched them do everything they could for him and they loaded him up."
James says that there was no control over what happened. "I feel so terribly responsible. Nobody makes us go and race motorcycles. It's what we love to do. We wouldn't do it otherwise. I feel so terrible for his family."
A memorial service for MacRae is planned in Calgary for September 5, but there are few other details so far.
Second death this month
The event wasn’t the only recent Quebec-related MCSC tragedy.
On Sunday August 11, Christian Auger, 34, of Champlain, Quebec lost his life in a single-bike accident at the Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in Toronto.
Auger lost control of his motorcycle on turn eight of the course while competing in the Amateur Superbike event.
He was brought to hospital in Toronto suffering serious head injury. His death was announced eight days later.
Auger was ranked fifth in his category at the time of his death and had finished fifth at the Autodrome St. Eustache earlier this year.
-With a file from Michael Franklin, CTV Calgary