Race team owner Winston McAdoo says the tragic death of James Cowton this year at the Southern 100 was a ‘devastating blow’.
The popular Yorkshireman was killed in a four-rider crash in the 600 Challenge race at the 4.25-mile Billown circuit near Castletown, which was the final race of the 2018 event.
Lincolnshire’s Ivan Lintin suffered serious injuries in the same crash, but is now on the road to recovery. Jamie Coward and Mickey Evans escaped serious injury in the incident.
Cowton (26) first linked up with the Cookstown-based McAdoo Kawasaki Racing team in 2016. He was joined this year by Northern Ireland prospect Adam McLean in a two-man line-up, who has re-signed for 2019.
Team owner McAdoo said that although Cowton’s death had come as a huge blow, ‘life must go on’.
“Last season was really tough for the team. We won international road races and many national road races – maybe the only team to do so with two different riders – but losing James was a devastating blow,” McAdoo said.
“He was a lovely young man with a massive future ahead. It was a very difficult time but although we will never forget him, we must move on with life.”
Tobermore rider McLean was also left reeling by the tragedy. The 22-year-old was riding in the same race at the Southern 100 when disaster struck at the Stadium Bends section of the course and narrowly avoided being caught up in the fatal crash.
At the time, McLean told the News Letter: “I got to know James last year at Scarborough when we had some really good races in the Supertwins and Supersport classes. He was a quiet lad but a very strong rival and obviously as we were riding for the same team at McAdoo Racing this year, I wanted to beat him and he wanted to beat me – you never want your team-mate to beat you.
“He was a really nice fellow and a good rider and he showed that with his Supertwin victory at the North West this year. Myself and the McAdoo Racing team are very deeply saddened by his loss
“I enjoyed my time together in the team with James and we had a good rivalry. Any time we raced together it was close racing and we pushed hard to beat each other. The sport has lost another outstanding rider and I have lost a friend and team-mate.”