Scott Redding will not be part of the Isle of Man TT Parade Lap after two riders were killed in as many days at the event. The MotoGP star has also triggered controversy with his comments on social media in the aftermath of the incidents, describing the TT as being like a “death race”.
65 year old Bob Price, a long-time friend of Redding and his family, died after crashing during Monday’s first Supersport race while three-time British Supersport champion Karl Harris succumbed to injuries sustained after crashing on the last lap of the Superstock race on Tuesday.
The loss of Price hit Redding particularly hard and the Gresini Honda rider voiced his opinion on his official Twitter account, saying “It’s like death race, all the riders that finish are relieved to finish in one piece and see their loved ones. Lost too many friends. I know nobody forces them but you can’t tell that in all your heart you don’t feel bad when something like this happens. It just hurts me. Don’t take me the wrong way, and when anyone asks me about TT ‘I take my hat off I have massive respect’ every time.”
Redding’s comments drew strong responses from both sides of the debate with Josh Brookes feeling that the 21 year old “should know better” and “shouldn’t be here if he has that opinion.”
— Josh Brookes (@JoshBrookes) June 3, 2014
Earlier today, Redding published a statement clarifying his earlier comments and explaining the reasons for his withdrawal from the parade lap.
“I was shocked when I heard the news that Bob had been killed at the TT. He was a close family friend and one of the few people outside of my immediate family who supported me when I started out racing. I will miss him, as will many others in our racing family.”
“Bob died doing something that he loved. I know we hear this all the time when tragedy strikes, but in Bob’s case it was definitely true. He was no spring chicken, but a seasoned roads campaigner who knew the risks, like all the riders do, but it’s what he wanted to do. I respect that, as I respect everyone who takes on the challenge of the TT, but it doesn’t make his passing any easier to deal with.”
“Then yesterday, we heard the tragic news that Karl Harris had also lost his life. Karl and Bob are both guys that I know and their deaths have hit me harder than I expected. Honestly, I’m devastated.”
“And that’s why I won’t be at the TT on Friday, not because I have anything against the Isle of Man TT, but because I prefer to mourn Bob in the places where I knew him best, not the place where he was taken from us.”
“I wish all the competitors on the Island safe racing.”