Ulster Grand Prix bosses have announced there will be a lap of honour ahead of Saturday’s race schedule as a nod to flying medic Doctor Fred MacSorley MBE, who hangs up his leathers for the final time this year.
The highly regarded GP from Lurgan has unquestionably saved many lives at the roadside over the course of his 30-year service to road racing in his role as a flying doctor.
‘Doctor Fred’, as he is affectionately known by the road racing community, will lead the lap with his wife Dr Alex Magee riding pillion, followed by the entire medical team and every competitor in Saturday’s races.
“I have mixed emotions about retiring,” said Dr MacSorley. “It has been a massive part of my life and I will miss it hugely. It has been such a huge privilege to be part of the motorcycling community, and an absolute honour to have looked after, in my opinion, some of the greatest sports people in the world.
“The last 30 years have been wonderful,” he continued. “I’ve seen the goodness of human nature; how people deal with both success and tragedy with dignity and the unbelievable support that this community offers to its members.
“And of course on our part it has been a team effort from the vans, the paramedics, the doctors, Jan Simm and her team, the chaplains; we can’t function without the full line up.
“I can’t talk about the team without paying tribute to Dr John Hinds. He joined us as a student and his brilliance was immediately obvious. We asked him to come back when he qualified and he was one of the most extraordinary talented, generous and hardworking doctors I have had the privilege of working with.
“His legacy will live on for many years to come and I hope he’s proud of the way the team continued in the aftermath of his untimely death.”
Dr MacSorley, who officially retired from his role as GP in April, is handing over the baton to a team of three paramedics including his son, Allister MacSorley, Paul Roycroft and Jason Rosborough.
“I had planned to retire earlier but it was important to take the time to teach the three lads to take over and I’d like to thank the race organisers for being so patient with the transition.
“I am very confident that the team is in good shape and I know it’s the right time for me to go.”
He continued: “My wife Alex recently retired from her role as clinical geneticist and the parade lap is a wonderful chance for me to take her for a spin and give her an inclination of what her husband has been up to all these years!
“My son Allister will obviously take part in the lap with the medical team, my other two sons David and Peter are also both doctors and David will be there to watch, although Peter is currently on a cycling tour in Canada so he’ll miss it.
“I can’t pay enough tribute to my wife and family for their unselfish support over the years. It wouldn’t have been possible to achieve a tenth of what I have without them.”
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