Page last updated at 10:43 GMT, Monday, 4 August 2008 11:43 UK

Rider dies in Brands Hatch crash

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Craig Jones suffered serious head injuries

A motorbike racer has died in hospital following a crash in the British leg of the World Supersport Championship at Brands Hatch.

Honda rider Craig Jones, 23, of Peterborough, suffered serious head injuries in the ninth round on Sunday.

He was transferred to the Royal London Hospital by Kent Air Ambulance but died in the early hours of Monday.

His team manager paid tribute to him as one of Britain's "brightest hopes" in world championship motorcycle racing.

Parkalgar Honda team manager Simon Buckmaster said: "The team's thoughts are with Craig's family and friends at this very difficult time.

"Craig's family passes on its thanks to all well-wishers."

'Wonderful rider'

The rider, who lived in Peterborough, but was originally from Northwich, Cheshire, was fighting for the lead when he crashed at Clark Curve.

Mr Jones won the 1996 British Junior Mini-Moto Championship, the 1997 British Senior Mini-Moto Championship, 2002 British Junior Superstock Championship and numerous race victories and awards.

In 2005 he finished runner-up in the British Supersport Championship before moving to the World Superbike Championship for 2006. In 2007 he finished fifth in the World Supersport Championship.

Jonathan Palmer, chief executive of MotorSport Vision which owns the racetrack, said Mr Jones was a "determined and professional" rider.

"I am so desperately sad that Craig died from the injuries he sustained at Brands Hatch yesterday," he said.

"Britain has lost a wonderful rider whom I admired enormously and had every chance of being a future world champion.

"It is fitting that the abiding memory so many of us will have of Craig was him riding brilliantly, battling for the lead of an incredible race, in front of his home crowd."



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