With reporting from Riham Sheble
A 49-year-old rider was killed last night at the Losail International Circuit during the opening round of the 2016 MotoGP World Championship.
Taoufik Gattouchi of Tunisia was involved in a multi-rider accident during yesterday’s practice races, Losail Sports Club said in a statement.
He received immediate medical attention and was transported by air ambulance to Hamad Hospital, where he died of his injuries.
“The FIM, Losail Circuit Sports Club, QMMF, Dorna Sports and the entire MotoGP community wishes to pass on its condolences to the family and friends of Mr. Gattouchi,” the statement concluded.
Tributes poured in for the rider on Facebook, with many of Gattouchi’s friends displaying temporary profile pictures of him that said, “RIP Tawfeeq, will never forget you brother.”
In a post in Arabic, fellow rider Ahmed Elsawy wrote, as translated into English:
“We witnessed nothing from him except honorable behavior. I never saw him insult anyone face-to-face or engage in gossip behind their backs. He was decorous and well-behaved. May God have mercy on your soul, my friend.”
This weekend marked the launch of the Commercial Bank Grand Prix of Qatar. Races will continue through tomorrow, a Losail spokesperson told Doha News.