Road racing was dealt another huge blow on Saturday with popular 2016 TT Privateers Champion Dan Hegarty tragically losing his life at the Macau Grand Prix. The 31-year old, who was making his second appearance at the Far East venue after finishing 16th twelve months ago, succumbed to injuries sustained in a high speed spill at Fisherman’s Bend.
The Nottingham rider first came to notice on the short circuits where he competed in the Virgin Mobile R6 Cup before moving into the British Superstock 1000 Championship which saw him score a number of top ten results. A badly broken elbow at Thruxton in 2010 led to him switching his attention to the roads and it is here where he carved out a highly successful career to firmly establish himself as one of the UK’s leading privateers.
After a stint with Norton Racing, Hegarty’s results, and speeds, continually improved at the TT culminating in the aforementioned victory in the 2016 Privateers Championship when he took career-best finishes of 11th in both the Superstock and Senior races a position he equalled in the Superstock race this year. He also recorded a personal best lap of 128.431mph which put him amongst the seeded riders at TT2017.
2016 also saw Hegarty, who ran his own business RTR Motorcycles in Bingham, record a whole host of top results at the Southern 100, Ulster Grand Prix, North West 200 and Scarborough road races. Indeed, he won the best newcomer award at the Ulster Grand Prix where he lapped at close to 128mph, the sixth fastest newcomer in the history of the event.
His results of 2016 earned him a ride with Top Gun Racing Honda for 2017 where he campaigned an ex-Conor Cummins Fireblade in the Superbike races as well as Honda machinery in the Superstock and Supersport classes. Despite experiencing some technical issues, he still recorded some strong finishes at the TT, again lapping at more than 127mph. He also took podium finishes at Scarborough as well as top ten results at the Southern 100 where he broke the 110mph barrier for the first time.
He qualified comfortably inside the top twenty at Macau and was on course for a strong finish in the top 15 when the incident occurred. It’s the second loss for Top Gun Racing after Gavin Lupton lost his life at the Ulster GP.
One of the nicest, friendliest riders in the paddock, Bikesport News would like to extend our condolences to all the friends and family of Dan at this sad time.