A BIKER from Elland died in a race at Brands Hatch.
Darren Mitchell died from injuries he received in a multiple crash on the opening lap of the National Superstock Championship yesterday.
The meeting was abandoned after the pile-up which left seven riders injured.
Two of the riders were seriously hurt and were transferred to hospital by helicopter and road ambulances.
Mr Mitchell, 33, was born and brought up in Elland.
He got into biking as a youngster, carrying on competing as a teenager, giving up in his early 20s then returning to the sport a couple of years ago.
A spokesman for the organisers, MCRCB- Events, said Mr Mitchell was treated at the circuit, and then airlifted by the Kent Air Ambulance to Maidstone Hospital where he died of his injuries later in the evening.
Former British Superbike champion James Whitham, of Netherton, said: "He was a really talented rider. I bumped into him a year or two ago in a shop in town and he was really excited about getting back into Superstock.
"Brands Hatch is a lot safer than some other circuits but there's still that element of risk. It's a tragic thing."
Mr Mitchell's father Robert, a former road racer, bought him his first 50cc bike at the age of seven.
His mother Katherine even took a night job to help pay for his hobby. Soon he was winning trophies at scrambling events all over the north.
Mr Whitham said: "As a teenager of 15 or 16, he raced in the Superteam championship.
"He used to have `Elland Flyer' written on his back."
The other riders involved were receiving treatment in hospitals within the region.
Two of them - Mark Heckles and Dean Johnson - are recovering from broken legs.
Mr Mitchell, who rode for SM Racing, was on his Suzuki GSX-R1000 motorcycle.
The pile-up was in the opening lap of the National Superstock Championship.
A spokesman for organisers said the cause of the accident was still being investigated.
"It was on the opening lap of the race," he said.
"It started in heavy rain and it happened at a place called Pilgrims' Drop.
"I think two riders touched and went down and presumably the others hit them."
Mr Whitham said: "They have wet weather tyres and special visors for rain. They were all kitted out properly, but these things can still happen."
The race spokesman added there were about 28 doctors and consultants at the circuit who treated the casualties at the scene before they were taken to hospital.
Brands Hatch, in Kent, is one of the most famous racing circuits in Britain, in use since 1926.