Competitors pull out of rally as mark of respect for Deacon

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Competitors in the Master Rallye have decided not to complete the event after the death of John Deacon on Wednesday.

Deacon was running in second on the seventh day of the rally on when he was involved in an accident and died as a result of injuries sustained. It is believed he had been negotiating a tricky downhill section when he fell heavily during a special stage. A medical helicopter arrived quickly at the scene but John had already died.

He was 77 miles out from Palmyra, Syria and it is thought the bike flipped at high speed.

Deacon, a factory BMW rider, was a 10-times British four-stroke enduro champion and nine-times ISDE gold medallist. In 1994 he was overall British enduro champion.

In 1995 he was 13th in the Tunisia Rally and in 1997 he was 17th in the Paris-Dakar and seventh in the Atlas Rally. 1998 saw him finish eighth in the Paris-Dakar and he was sixth the following year.

In 1999 he was fourth in the Dubai Rally and repeated that success in 2000. This year he was sixth in the Paris-Dakar. He was the first Brit to win a stage in the event.

Many will know him from the off-road schools he ran.

BMW’s motorcycle manager Dave Taylor, said: ” It is a tragic loss. I feel most for John’s family and my heart goes out to his wife and two children.

” John has been part of the BMW family for several years. He was a remarkable man who craved adventure and loved racing. He exuded talent and charisma and is a true legend of the motorcycle industry. He will always be remembered. ”

Rene Metge, an FIA official linked to the Master Rallye, said: ” We have lost one of the off-road princes. For many of us a joyous friend, who overcame every enterprise. For us all he will remain an example of kindness. We miss John already. ”

All those involved in the event have observed a minute’s silent tribute.

John, from Saltash, Cornwall, leaves a wife, Tracey, and two children, James and Zoe

We’ll add more as it becomes available.

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MCN Staff

By MCN Staff