Superbike Donington Park crash victim was 'thrill-seeker'

Mick Whalley Image copyright Facebook
Image caption Mick Whalley's motto was "I'm here for a good time not a long time"

The girlfriend of a motorbike racer who died following a seven-bike crash has said his motto was "I'm here for a good time not a long time".

Mick Whalley, 42, from Sheppey, Kent, was competing at Donington Park, Leicestershire, on Saturday when the crash happened.

Kayleigh Shoebridge praised medics for trying to save his life.

It is thought oil on the circuit from a bike engine in a previous race was the cause. An investigation is under way.

Image copyright Facebook
Image caption Kayleigh Shoebridge said her boyfriend died instantly

Miss Shoebridge, who was in the pit lane when the crash happened, told the BBC: "They [trackside medical team] told me he was not breathing and his heart was not working when we left the circuit.

"It was instant, he didn't suffer."

Updates on this story and more from across the East Midlands

Image copyright Facebook
Image caption Friends have described Mr Whalley as "irreplaceable"

Nick Hale, who had known Mr Whalley for 15 years, described him as a "fun, loving guy... the life and soul of the party".

"I'm just completely devastated," he said. "Mick was such a big-hearted guy with such a big lust for life.

"He was out doing something fun and exciting, just to hear he's gone is shocking for everybody."

Image caption Tributes have been left for Mick Whalley at his distribution business in Sheerness

Friend Tom Baker said he was "really sad", but the businessman "was doing what he loved".

Nick Watts and Wayne Baber said their "irreplaceable" friend was a "thrill-seeker", who was "hard not to love" and lived for his two children.

Image caption A minute's silence was held at Donington Park the day after the fatal crash

Mr Whalley, who died in hospital, was taking part in a support race for the Ducati Performance TriOptions Cup of the MCE British Superbike Championship.

Another rider suffered multiple leg injuries and received hospital treatment.

A minute's silence was held at the track on Sunday before racing began.

Leicestershire Police and the Motorcycle Circuit Racing Control Board are investigating.

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