Published: 22:47, 01 April 2017
A rider from Kent has died after a seven bike crash at Donington Park.
Mick Whalley, a father from Sheppey, was competing in today's Ducati TriOptions Cup race in the opening round of the MCE British Superbike Championship.
He sustained serious injuries and died in hospital.
Event organiser MSVR and Donington Park released a statement confirming the sad news.
"The management of Donington Park race circuit and MSVR have to report that, following a multiple motorcycle accident during a race for the Ducati Performance TriOptions Cup, a support race to this weekend’s round of the MCE British Superbike Championship (April 1/2 2017), the rider of bike number 77, Mick Whalley of Sheppey, Kent, suffered serious injuries.
"The race was immediately stopped and the other riders involved were treated immediately trackside by the BSB Medical Team.
"It is with great regret that we have to announce that, following his transfer from the circuit, Mick Whalley succumbed to his injuries while undergoing further treatment at Queens Medical Centre, Nottingham."
Dozens of tributes have been paid to the rider, who went to Fulston Manor School in Sittingbourne.
World Superbike rider Alex Lowes took to Twitter to pay his respects. He said: "Gutted to hear about Mick Whalley losing his life today at Donington. My thoughts are with his family and friends. RIP."
Fellow British Superbike rider, Shane 'Shakey' Byrne, who also lives on Sheppey, said he had lost a friend, while his wife Petra said she had no words to describe the loss.
Kiko Giles tweeted, saying: "Stunned & saddened by what I saw at Donington Park today. A horrific accident, a freak one at that. RIP Mick Whalley. Thoughts with family."
Many friends have also changed their Facebook profile pictures to one of Mr Whalley, in tribute to him.
Pal Martyn Allison posted: "RIP Mick. My thoughts are with your family and friends at this time. Race hard in the sky racer."
Carly Miller sent her condolences to Mr Whalley's partner and children, adding: "It's absolutely heart-breaking. Such a terrible loss. I'm in absolute shock."
Another rider, Mike Honey, number 34, sustained multiple leg injuries and is receiving treatment and further assessment at the same hospital.
Mr Honey's wife, Jenni, took to Facebook to thanking well wishers for their support and to pay tribute to Mr Whalley. She said: "Mick certainly was one of a kind and a true gent and he will be hugely missed. RIP Mick ride free."
MSVR and the staff at Donington Park, are working with the Leicestershire Police and the Motorcycle Circuit Racing Control Board in order to investigate the full circumstances of the accident.