Hundreds on the road for Malachi

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Traffic came to a standstill as hundreds of people got on their bikes and in their cars to say goodbye to a promising young motorcyclist.

Several hundred vehicles followed the funeral cortege through Chorley this afternoon on the final journey for 20-year-old Malachi Mitchell-Thomas.

Malachi Mitchell-Thomas. Pic: Stephen Davison

Malachi Mitchell-Thomas. Pic: Stephen Davison

Behind the hearse and funeral cortege were around 200 motorbikes, followed by performance cars such as Ferraris and Porsches.

They met at Rivington Barn, near Chorley, and joined the back of the procession as it made its way through Horwich.

It went through Adlington, where Malachi lived, and continued into Heath Charnock and towards Charnock Richard Crematorium for the funeral service.

Accompanying the procession were Lancashire Constabulary and North West Blood Bikes – Lancs And Lakes, who provided a rolling escort and marshals along the route.

It was a fitting tribute to the young motorbike rider, who had been touted as “road racing’s bright new star” and was drawing comparisons to biking personality Guy Martin.

Malachi died on Saturday, May 14, after losing control of his Burrows Engineering Kawasaki during the third lap of the Supertwins race at North West 200 in Portrush, Northern Ireland.

No other competitors were involved.

When the crash happened, the street race was immediately red-flagged and Malachi was treated by medical staff.

However, he died from his injuries at the scene.

Earlier in the day, Malachi had come fourth in the Supersport race at the North West 200.

Cookstown BE Racing team owner John Burrows said he had “ridden the race of his life”.

After his death, Malachi’s father Kevin Thomas wrote on Facebook that he had lost his “bestest mate”.

He introduced Malachi to motocross when he was just four years old.

He was riding in Supermoto at 13 and had success at European level at 16.

The former Rivington And Blackrod High School pupil said he was taken by the road racing bug on his first visit to the Isle of Man.

Last year, he won a Senior Manx GP aged 19 and set a new lap record.

Mr Thomas has previously said he wants to scatter Malachi’s ashes at the Isle of Man TT races in June.