French biker Franck Petricola has been killed during a qualifying session for the Isle of Man TT races.

Petricola, 32, from Pont a Mousson, died on Wednesday (3 June) night after an accident at Sulby Crossroads during the qualifying session of the TT fortnight.

In a statement confirming his death race organisers said: "ACU Events Ltd regrets to announce that French rider Franck Petricola (32) from Pont a Mousson was killed following an accident at Sulby Crossroads at approximately 7.45pm during this evening's qualifying session at the Isle of Man TT races.

"Petricola was a regular competitor in the IRRC Championship and enjoyed his best season in 2013, with 11th overall in the Superbike category. His best result, sixth, came at Chimay and he ended the year strongly with six successive top 10 finishes and took a brace of thirds in the Lightweight Races at Horice and Terlicko.

"He was due to make his TT debut in 2014 but was injured in the North West 200 meeting earlier in the month and was forced to withdraw from last year's event. He returned to full fitness and raced at Scarborough and the North West 200 where he finished 25th in the Superstock race and 21st in the Superbike Race.

"The ACU wishes to pass on their deepest sympathy to Franck's family and friends. The Coroner of Inquests has been informed and an investigation into the circumstances of the accident is under way."

Petricola had returned to racing after being badly injured at the North West 200 race in Northern Ireland last year.

The 80mph smash on the coast road section left him with multiple injuries breaking two vertebrae, his left arm, his right elbow and right leg, several ribs and perforated lungs. A serious injury to his head left him in a coma for several days.

He fully recovered from the crash and credited the medics and organisation at the North West for saving his life. He returned to fitness to take part in this year's event last month ahead of the TT races.

The annual 37.73-mile motorcycle road race is one of the world's most prestigious biking events. It is also one of the worlds most dangerous, with more than 200 rider deaths recorded since the Isle of Man races first began.

Fans of the racing driver have been paying their personal tributes on social media.