A young world champion motocross rider has died while training to break a world record with a 90m-plus jump.
Tyrone Gilks, a 19-year-old from Lake Macquarie, was rushed to hospital in a critical condition after he failed to make a practice jump at Maitland Showground yesterday morning, the Newcastle Herald reports.
Gilks died during surgery last night from head and chest injuries.
The self-confessed adrenaline junkie was training to break the 94.49m record for the world's longest ramp-to-ramp dirt jump on a 250cc bike when the landing went wrong and he was thrown over the handlebars.
Gilks had planned to perform the world-record breaking jump at the Maitland Bike and Hot Rod Show tomorrow night.
The freestyle motocross rider broke his first world record at just 11 and beat several of motocross jump legend Robbie Maddison's world records.
Gilks, who grew up in Newcastle, had been living on the Gold Coast, where he was sponsored by local Burleigh Heads bike shop Mxstore.
A staff member at the store told the Daily Telegraph that managers were at Gilks' bedside in hospital.
"Gilks was a fantastic rider who was in the store every single day. Riding was his life," the bike shop employee said.
Fans of Gilks were quick to flood social media sites with tributes to the rider.
A Facebook tribute page, ‘‘R.I.P Tyrone Gilks’’, was set-up last night and now has more than 18,000 likes.
‘‘Cannot believe such a young enthusiastic rider was taken from us :( greatest condolences to his family and friends. Ride In Peace Tyrone Gilks,’’ one post read.
‘‘U will never be forgotten ever u were one of my true mates and never replaceable u will always live on with us’’, another said.
Author: Emily O’Keefe, Approving editor Mark Worley