Tributes to superbike rider who died in East Fortune race track crash

TRIBUTES have been paid to a Scottish motorbike racer who died following an accident on a race track at the weekend.

Monday, 14th August 2017, 6:36 pm
Updated Tuesday, 12th September 2017, 12:15 pm
A 2016 picture of Mr Dignan in action .

Frank Dignan, 63, was racing his high-powered superbike at the Melville Motor Club meeting in East Lothian on Saturday when it left the track.

Emergency services raced to the scene in East Fortune and took Mr Dignan, of Haddington, to nearby Edinburgh Royal Infirmary where he later passed away from his injuries.

He had been racing motorbikes for over 40 years and was a regular at the East Fortune circuit having first appeared in 1974.

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Racing was suspended on Saturday as a mark of respect to the popular biker but bikes did return to the track the following day.

A statement on behalf of the club said: “The Melville Motor Club regret to announce the loss of club member Frankie Dignan from Haddington, on Saturday 12th August 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.”

Shocked friends have also taken to social media to pay tribute to Frank.

Posting online, friend Ian Thomson said: “Every so often, the sport I participated in, rears up and takes one of our own.

“At the weekend, it did just that, and took my pal while he was racing his Superbike at East Fortune.

“Racing motorbikes has always been risky, and Frank, who had been racing since the early 70s, just saw his good luck run out.

“RIP buddy, I’ll miss your paddock banter and insults.”

Yvonne Davidson, a fellow racer in action at East Fortune and the niece of former world champion Jock Taylor, wrote: “So sad to have lost a good mate of mine, Frankie Dignan in the superbikes race, a real legend. RIP bud.”

Ross Maguire, another competitor, added: “Thoughts and prayers with the family and friends of Frank Dignan who unfortunately lost his life at the circuit on Saturday.”

A Police Scotland spokesman said: “Police in East Lothian responded to East Fortune 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.

“Racing was suspended and Road Policing Officers are continuing with their inquiries.”