Dave Heal has paid a special tribute to his friend and former team-mate David Jefferies who was killed last week while practising for the Isle of Man TT races.

Jefferies, a nine-times TT winner and the outright lap record holder, was killed last Thursday as practice week came to a close.

Former British Superbikes privateer champion Heal, from Heathfield, had known Jefferies for more than 30 years.

Ironically, he was also on the Isle of Man last weekend for the first round of the new British ACU Summer Supermoto Championship.

Heal said: "He was a great friend of mine and was a team-mate for a while as well. I have known him since I was ten.

"I nearly cancelled going over there myself when I heard but I thought he wouldn't want that.

"Channel 4 asked me to pay a tribute to him on camera. As everyone watched, I did a big burn-out and wrote his initials on the startline. He would have liked that."

The news cast a shadow over the opening round of the Supermoto Championship, which is expected to become one of Britain's most popular competitions in the next few years.

Five members of the Dave Heal Racing team went to the event and all did reasonably well, although Heal was the only one to reach the A final on both days of the event.

He recorded two 12th places in the Open class which were enough for championship points but not enough for prize money.

Also in the Open class, Simon Powell (Hailsham) finished 21st in the A final on day two, having claimed fourth spot in the non-qualifying final on the first day.

Nick Hobden (Herstmonceux), Tim Guest (Eastbourne) and Richard Freshwater (Peacehaven) all contested the 450 class and none of them reached the final on day one when Freshwater was taken to hospital with concussion following a crash.

Guest, however, was second in the non-qualifying race.

On day two, they all reached the final with Guest finishing 15th, Freshwater 17th and Hobden 19th.

Supermoto racing, which combines road and off-road racing, usually sees lots of crashes and Hobden's ten over the weekend was more than anyone there.