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Maidstone superbike rider Steve Mercer airlifted to hospital after crashing with safety car in Isle of Man TT qualifying race

A Maidstone superbike rider is in a "critical but stable" condition in hospital after being involved in a horror crash with a safety car during a qualifying race on the Isle of Man.

Race organisers have launched an investigation into how the collision involving Steve Mercer, 36, occurred, on a tragic night where fellow rider Dan Kneen was killed in a separate incident.

A statement from TT Race organisers ACU Events Ltd said: "We can confirm that a rider was involved in a collision with a course car at Ballacrye during [last night's] qualifying session at the Isle of Man TT Races.

Steve Mercer from Maidstone was involved in a crash with a safety car on the Isle of Man. Picture: Simon Hildrew
Steve Mercer from Maidstone was involved in a crash with a safety car on the Isle of Man. Picture: Simon Hildrew

"The rider has been taken by airmed to Nobles Hospital.

"This followed an earlier incident during the Superbike session at Churchtown which the course car was attending."

Tributes have been paid to both riders on social media, with Mercer's wife, Caroline, saying on Facebook: "I'm sorry to say Steve has sustained serious injuries this evening following an accident on his way back to the Grandstand.

"He has been flown to Liverpool where he will be assessed further to ascertain the full extent of his injuries."

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