British Supersport champion Karl Harris sadly became the second competitor to die in this year's TT races on the Isle of Man when he was killed during Tuesday's Superstock event, reported by BBC News.
Team WD40 remembered the rider with a photo of success shortly after the 34-year-old passed away:
Harris crashed on Joey's Corner during the final lap of the notorious meet. Gary Thompson, TT clerk at the course, led the tributes with a summary of how Harris will be remembered by his fellow professionals, per Sky Sports:
"Karl was one of the great characters in the race paddock," said Thompson. "His infectious enthusiasm and sense of humour lit up many race meetings. He was a hugely talented racer and will be sorely missed."
Twitter quickly followed suit with many tributes to the three-time British Supersport champion who made his Isle of Man debut in 2012. Steve Parrish, a former racer and BBC commentator, summed up the loss of his associate:
Really sad to loose a mate, Karl Bomber Harris today. Chasing his passion. RIP. My thoughts are with his family.— Steve Parrish (@Stavros6) June 3, 2014
Eugene Laverty, who currently rides for Suzuki's World Superbikes division, also described Harris' personality:
Lost for words on hearing the news of Karl Harris. Great guy with a big heart #RIPBomber— Eugene Laverty (@eugenelaverty) June 3, 2014
British road racer Conor Cummins paid tribute to his countryman:
Really saddened to read of Karl Harris' passing today. Unbelievable rider and a top bloke. RIP fella. God speed— Conor Cummins (@ConrodIOM) June 3, 2014
Bleacher Report UK summed up the race's extremely dangerous nature:
RIP Karl Harris (1979–2014) who is the 242nd rider fatality on the Snaefell Mountain Course in the Isle of Man. pic.twitter.com/0rkfucZK7K— Bleacher Report UK (@br_uk) June 4, 2014
Former Isle of Man TT winner and current lap record holder Mat Oxley appeared to question whether putting lives at risk is worth the spectacle:
Horrible news from the TT: Karl Harris killed in Superstock race at Joey's, an unforgiving corner if ever there was one. Makes you wonder— Mat Oxley (@matoxley) June 3, 2014
Sam Lowes, who won last year's World Supersport championship, echoed the thoughts of many within the profession when remembering Harris' kind nature:
Gutted and upset, Karl Harris was a top top bloke nice guy and very talented on a motorbike! RIP Mate everyone will miss you #bomber— Sam Lowes (@SamLowes11) June 3, 2014
Former Olympic runner Derek Redmond posted an image of Harris' daring instincts:
Yet another legend, gent and one of the most talented riders I have met. RIP Karl Harris pic.twitter.com/jd9Ma0OYX6— Derek A Redmond (@Derek_Redmond) June 3, 2014
Carl Fogarty, perhaps the most famous British rider of them all, also took time to express his sadness:
Gutted beyond words at the news that Karl Harris has been killed.!!!— Carl Fogarty (@carlfogarty) June 3, 2014
Harris' death marks another tragic story in the history of the Isle of Man TT races. Bob Price died at the age of 65 during the Mountain course earlier in the week, per BBC News, shrouding the event in sadness before Harris' accident took place.
The nature of the Isle of Man races sees riders build high speeds along winding roads, many of which are flanked by buildings to create an extremely narrow course. As we have witnessed so many times over the years, one miscue can end in death or serious injury, whether it be to the racer or spectators, ensuring the event is as controversial as it is unpredictable.
Harris' death is the latest in a long line of saddening occurrences, but if the race remains in its current format, is unlikely to be the last.