Motorcycle racer Kurt Caselli dies during race


Championship racer died during the Baja 1000 while trying to avoid hitting an animal. (Photo from KTM USA)


Kurt Caselli, a factory rider for KTM Motorcycles and an American desert racer, died Nov. 15 during the 46th annual SCORE Baja 1000.

Desert Motocross racer Kurt Caselli died from head injuries suffered in a “sandy, high speed section”, according to SCORE International, an off-road sanctioning body in the sport of desert racing and is famous for its flagship event, the Baja 1000.

Caselli, 30, was in first place about 100 miles from the finish line at around mile marker 833 when he was unable to avoid a cow and lost control at high speeds during the evening segment of the race. The resident of Palmdale, Calif., was transported to a hospital in Ensenada where he died over night.

Reports from earlier during the day of the accident was reported that locals had setup a booby trap on the course but other witness said otherwise. According to Taylor Robert, 23, teammate Rickey Brabec, 22, who races for Monster Energy was first on the scene where he stayed with Caselli until further help had arrived. “This was merely a racing accident and had nothing to do with booby traps, spectators, or another vehicle”, said Robert.

Bobby Quarnstrom, owner of Solo Motorsports; an off-road fabrication shop was in Baja watching the event while the accident happened. “It’s sad to hear what happened but that’s baja for you, anything can happen.”

Daniel Virgen, 24, a student from Cypress College also heard about the accident on Saturday morning. “It’s crazy how fast this news can spread. I was on my phone and saw a picture with a caption saying that he had just passed away. I was truly in shock and couldn’t believe it.”

Caselli had raced during the 2013 of the DAKAR Rally and had 2 stage wins. KTM was highly interested in him and signed a three year contract to race in the FIM World Championship. This was an event that Caselli had his eyes set on once he was back from winning the Baja 1000.

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