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Gone with the Greats: Isle of Man TT Claims Two of her Own

A view of Cesar Chanel and Olivier Lavorel in the opening race of the sidecar category for Isle of Man TT. Media sourced from ITV Hub.
A view of Cesar Chanel and Olivier Lavorel in the opening race of the sidecar category for Isle of Man TT. Media sourced from ITV Hub.

The motorcycle racing industry has just lost two key members of their legacy in the Isle of Man TT – and this news comes with a slight misunderstanding. 

According to the report from MCN, the first lap of the opening sidecar race saw Frenchman Olivier Lavorel sustaining serious injuries on the scene, with driver César Chanel succumbing to the incident. 

The news comes with a bit of confusion; apparently, both TT newcomers had originally swapped their dog tags prior to the race, resulting in a misidentification of the men after the crash itself. 

A view of Cesar Chanel and Olivier Lavorel in the opening race of the sidecar category for Isle of Man TT. Media sourced from The Mirror.
A view of Cesar Chanel and Olivier Lavorel in the opening race of the sidecar category for Isle of Man TT. Media sourced from The Mirror.

With the deceased ‘Lavorel’ then confirmed to be the unfortunate Chanel, the actual Lavorel was rushed to the hospital, where he also eventually (and more recently) gave in to the damage done. 

“The Isle of Man TT Races is deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Sidecar competitor, Olivier Lavorel, from Sillingy, France,” reads the official statement. 

“Olivier sustained serious injuries in an incident during the opening lap of the first Sidecar Race of the 2022 Isle of Man TT Races on the Saturday 4th June. The accident occurred at Ago’s Leap, just under 1 mile into the Course, and also claimed the life of Olivier’s team mate, César Chanel.”

A view of Cesar Chanel and Olivier Lavorel in the opening race of the sidecar category for Isle of Man TT. Media sourced from MCN.
A view of Cesar Chanel and Olivier Lavorel in the opening race of the sidecar category for Isle of Man TT. Media sourced from MCN.

“Olivier was airlifted to hospital in Liverpool before being transferred to a hospital in France in late June where his treatment continued…both Olivier and César [won] numerous victories and podiums in the French F1 and F2 National Sidecar Championships.”

Our deepest sympathies to Lavorel’s family and loved ones during this time; just as we here at WBW seek to inspire new generations of riders, we also consider it our unbound duty to cover as wide an array of the motorcycling industry as possible – and that includes unfortunate news such as this.

For other related news in the industry, be sure to subscribe to our newsletter; our main man Cameron Martel curates the thing himself and hand-delivers it to your inbox twice a day – no fillers, so don’t miss it. 

Drop a comment below letting us know what you think, and as always – stay safe on the twisties. 

*Media sourced from MCN, as well as ITV HUB and The Mirror*