A VETERAN Scottish superbike racer has died following an accident at a race track he had competed on for over 40 years.
Frank Dignan, 63, died after an incident a the East Fortune racing circuit in East Lothian on Saturday.
The biker, from Haddington, East Lothian, had been racing at the famous circuit for 43 years but died from injuries sustained after falling from his bike near the end of the Scottish Superbikes race.
On-site medical teams rushed to try and help and he was taken by ambulance to the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary but later died from his injuries.
Mr Dignan, was a member of the Melville Motor Club and was racing at a club meeting when the tragic accident took place.
Racing was cancelled as a mark of respect on Saturday, however, bikers returned to the track on Sunday.
A statement released on behalf of the Melville Motor Club said: “The Melville Motor Club regret to announce the loss of club member Frankie Dignan from Haddington, on Saturday, August 12 2017.
“Frankie was competing in the motorcycle racing event at his local circuit, East Fortune, when he fell at Campbell’s Hairpin, towards the end of the Scottish Superbikes race.
“He was attended immediately by the circuit medical team and sent by ambulance to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary, but sadly succumbed to his injuries.
“Frankie had raced at East Fortune since 1974 and will be terribly missed.
“The Melville Club sends its sincere condolences to his family and friends.”
Tributes were paid to Mr Dignan on social media.
Helen Wallace wrote: “RIP Frank Dignan, thoughts and prayers are with family and friends. Keep her lit up there.”
Pete Campbell commented: “R.I.P. Frank, he was racing there when we went to East Fortune a couple of times in recent years.”
Whilst Davie Martin added: “Prayers and thoughts go out to all Frank’s family, friends ,and followers. Rest in peace Frank.”
Mr Dignan’s daughter, Ashleigh, 27, declined to comment today.
Fellow superbike racers offered their condolences following the death of Mr Dignan.
Max Alexander, who set a new track record for Scottish Motorbikes at East Fortune at the weekend, said: “I’m new to the paddock this season, and didn’t personally know Frank, but I would like to send my thoughts and condolences to his family and friends.”
Callum Grigor, who finished in first position at East Fortune, said: “The racing community is like one big family and when we lose anybody in the paddock there is always a big hole left behind and although I didn’t know him well he will be sadly missed, and it was a pleasure to have shared the track with him.”
Robert Grundison, 60, has known Frank for since the early 1980s when he raced classic motorcycles. They were motor mechanics and MOT testers together.
He said: “Our paths crossed a lot, he was a great guy. He was always funny, with a sarcastic type of humour, but he was never nasty to anyone.
“He will be missed.”
Superbike racing involves highly-modified production bikes, in comparison to MotoGP which has purpose-built motorcycles.
Superbike machines can reach speeds of up to 200mph.
A 2017 Ducati superbike 959 Panigale costs over £14,000, and this is without any further modifications.
A Police Scotland spokesman said: “Police in East Lothian responded to East Fortune at around 2.50 p.m. on Saturday 12th August after a motorcycle rider came of his bike during the Scottish Autocycle Union Championship race.
“As a result of this incident, the 63-year-old man sustained serious injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene.
“Racing was suspended and Road Policing Officers are continuing with their inquiries.”