IRTA, MotoGP's Gary McLaren killed in tragic accident

Former Suzuki MotoGP mechanic and IRTA employee Gary McLaren dies in a freak accident during New Year's Eve celebrations

Gary McLaren

IRTA employee and former MotoGP mechanic Gary McLaren has died following an accident with a firework during New Year’s celebrations in Thailand.

McLaren, 50, formerly worked with the Suzuki team before moving on to IRTA (International Road Racing Teams’ Association) where he was a familiar face in the MotoGP paddock.

He died shortly after midnight on New Year’s Day in Pattaya when a firework he was trying to light exploded in his hands.

A Foreign Office spokeswoman said they were supporting the family of a British man who died in Thailand.

Lt Col Somboon Ua-samanmaitree of the Thai Tourist Police said: "Around midnight, Mr McLaren attempted to light up a large firework but it failed to go off at first. After that, it suddenly exploded and killed him at the scene."

His death has prompted an outpouring of support on social media, with the official MotoGP channel expressing its sadness at his passing.

“Terrible news this morning. Our colleague and friend, Gary McLaren from IRTA passed away last night. Our thoughts are with his loved ones. He will be sorely missed.”

Former employers Suzuki also paid tribute to the Corby man, posting “We are very shocked and sad to learn of the death of Gary McLaren. Gary worked as a Data Acquisition Engineer at Suzuki for 11 years, and remained a good friend to us all while he continued working in the paddock for IRTA. Our thoughts with his loved ones, we’ll really miss him!”

Visordown would like to express our sincerest condolences to Gary’s family and friends at this difficult time.