British racer Lee Richardson succumbed to injuries suffered after crashing into fencing during a Speedway race in Poland.
Richardson, 33, was competing in Poland’s top-tier Ekstraliga speedway division, racing for the PGE Marma Rzeszów team at a track in Wroclaw, Poland.
Running on the inside on the first lap of a heat race, Richardson’s front wheel clipped the rear of another racer’s, sending the Hastings, England, racer tumbling into the fencing along the back straight. Richardson received a severe blow to the chest, suffering internal injuries and breathing difficulties.
Richardson was taken to hospital and underwent surgery but died in the operating room on My 13 at 8 pm local time. He is survived by his wife and three sons.
“I am numb and just can’t take this in, Lee’s loss to his family is beyond imagination and I can’t see further than that at the moment,” says Jon Cook, co-promoter of Richardson’s British racing club, the Lakeside Hammers.
Richardson is a former Under-21 Speedway World Champion and was also crowned the 2003 Elite League Riders championship in the U.K. Richardson holds the Speedway World Cup British team’s all-time leading point-scorer with 240 points in 10 tournaments.
To honor Richardson’s memory, the Ekstraliga will observe a minute of silence ahead of all of its matches on May 20. Ekstraliga will also raise flags of mourning.
“On behalf of the FIM, I extend my deepest condolences to Lee’s family, friends and team for this tragic loss.” says Vito Ippolito, president of the International Motorcycling Federation.