Laverty dedicates Catalunya helmet to TT racer McDonnell

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Northern Irish MotoGP racer Eugene Laverty will wear a special helmet this weekend at the Catalan MotoGP round to commemorate his namesake, Isle of Man TT racer Gene McDonnell.

McDonnell, the 1985 Irish 350cc champion, tragically lost his life in a freak accident at the TT on 4th June 1986, only a day after Laverty was born.

A close friend of the Laverty family and supported by Eugene’s father Micky in his racing career, Eugene was named in honour of Gene – and will honour him this weekend with the special Shoei replica.

“It’ll be a great honour to wear a replica of Gene’s helmet this weekend in Barcelona. Gene was destined for great things before his untimely death and I’m proud to be able to carry his name at the pinnacle of racing. Gene’s brother Ciaran came up with the idea of the tribute helmet and I’m really excited to see how it turns out.

“A few of Gene’s family members will travel to Barcelona this weekend to join us for the weekend and I would love to achieve a top eight finish in his memory. Gene was an incredibly brave man and so I will wear his helmet with pride this weekend at the Catalan Grand Prix.”

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Simon Patterson

By Simon Patterson

MotoGP and road racing reporter, photographer, videographer