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Last Updated: Thursday, 31 July, 2003, 04:24 GMT 05:24 UK
Tributes pour in for Hislop
Steve Hislop
Hislop has been described as a "genius"
The motorcycling world is mourning the death of reigning British Superbike champion Steve Hislop in a helicopter crash.

Hislop was flying his helicopter alone near Hawick in the Scottish Borders when the aircraft crashed near a remote farmhouse on Wednesday.

The 41-year-old won the British Superbike championship in 1995 and 2002 and also won 11 races at the Isle of Man TT.

Steve Parrish, a BBC commentator and former Superbike rider, told BBC Radio Five Live: "It's such a tragedy for motorcycling.

"Steve was known in the industry as a flawed genius.

Everybody knew him and looked up to him as a rider and as a man
Steve Parrish
BBC commentator
"He was so good on his day when everything was running right. The flaw was that sometimes psychologically he hadn't got it all together and he could have an off day.

"But last year he rode a faultless season and took the championship.

"And when he was qualifying for a championship round at Donington Park, he broke Valentino Rossi's Grand Prix lap record, which is unheard of on a bike which is 25% less powerful.

"Everybody knew him and looked up to him as a rider and as a man."

Hislop was sacked by the Virgin Yamaha team at the start of the month and had signed for ETI.

He was due to make his debut for the team at Oulton Park in two weeks' time.

"One of the saddest factors is that he was about to launch the second half of his season with the ETI team," Parrish said.

"And it was quite feasible he was going to come out and make everyone else look silly - that was how talented he was."

He [Hislop] was such a big name in the sport and has so much respect in our little world
Rob McElnea
Hislop's former manager
Rob McElnea, Hislop's former manager at Virgin Yamaha, said Hislop was a colourful character who would be sorely missed by the world of motorcycling.

"What you got with Steve was an intricate person who wore his heart on his sleeve and just loved riding his motorcycle," McElnea said.

"He was a perfectionist. He's such a big name in the sport, the current British champion, and has so much respect in our little world.

"He's going to be really sadly missed.

"His new love was helicopters. He'd just passed his flying test and was qualified.

"All he ever talked about was getting in his helicopter and it was a real passion for him."

BBC Sport's Steve Parrish
"Hislop was viewed as a flawed genius - he was so good on his day"

Hislop's former manager at Yahama, Rob McElnea
"Steve just loved riding a bike"

Bike world mourns Hislop death
30 Jul 03  |  Scotland
Your Steve Hislop tributes
30 Jul 03  |  Have Your Say
Hislop's career in pictures
31 Jul 03  |  Photo Galleries
Steve Hislop forum
16 Jun 03  |  Have Your Say

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