UPDATE! November 19, 2013
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November 19, 2013
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BajaRacingNews Investigating Caselli Death
Was the race sanctioning body emergency response to this incident, reasonable and adequate [satisfactory or acceptable in quality or quantity]?.
*Cameron Steele comments:
"I am understanding more about where Kurt passed and the trees he crashed in. I have always had a bit of an uncomfortable feeling shooting through them even in the truck. To have an animal pop out in front of anyone would mean seeing it last second due to the coverage of the trees."
*BAJA 1000 Competitor, Robby Gordon, reacts:
"So Bummed, this was the first news I got from my Dad at the Finish line and it brought tears to my eyes, I consider Kurt a Friend and he was so down to Earth and Professional. Glad to Know this STUD and amazing tallent. We spent some time with Kurt on Wednesday evening in OJOS and he was so prepared to Win the Baja and and he was well on his way to the Victory, and ready to bring the Dakar Trophy to the Stars and Stripes.
Harts and Prayers to his Family and Fiance
Please all remember he was doing what he LOVED to DO, ride WFO".
*Recent Press Report:
Caselli’s KTM team, who have now recovered the bike, discovered traces on the machine that indicate he had collided with some small animal, which apparently caused the crash.
“Today we lost a hero in the worst possible circumstances,” said Pit Beirer, head of KTM Motorsports. ”We are shocked and saddened by this tragic news and our thoughts and deepest condolences go out to Kurt’s family.
“Kurt was much more than a very talented rider; he was also an exceptional team player. He represented and lived by the values and a passion for racing that lies at the very core of KTM. Our sport has lost more than a great rider; we have also lost an excellent ambassador for off-road racing.”
Tributes from his fellow competitors and friends have poured in since the tragic news broke late last night.
Source found HERE
*SCORE Press Rep Talks To TMZ:
(Nov 16, 12:30 AM)
"Kurt Caselli -- a highly decorated off-road racing competitor -- died Friday evening in Baja, Mexico ... after he crashed his motorcycle during a sandy section of the course.
According to a rep for the 2013 Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 ... Kurt died from injuries sustained in the crash while en route to a hospital in Ensenada.
The rep says Caselli "apparently lost control of his KTM motorcycle in a sandy, high-speed section" of the course ..."
*First Hand Report In:
From Destry Abbott: Robert Taylor:
Did the 1x stop? Score press release says KC was leading".
*The American Motorcyclist Association expresses deep regret for the death of multi-time AMA National Champion Kurt Caselli. The reigning champion of the AMA National Hare & Hound Championship Series succumbed to injuries suffered while competing in the Baja 1000 in Baja California, Mexico, on Nov. 15. Caselli was 30 years old.
“Kurt Caselli was one of American desert racing’s finest champions, and his early and untimely death is a major blow to the hearts and minds of all of us who knew him or knew of him,” said AMA President and CEO Rob Dingman. “Caselli was a gracious competitor, a team leader and a fan favorite. His love for motorcycling showed through in everything he did, whether he was leading his fellow racers as the U.S. team captain for the International Six Days Enduro or signing autographs for a young fan. On behalf of the AMA Board of Directors, our staff and AMA members everywhere, we offer our condolences to the family of Kurt Caselli and thank them for sharing with us one of the sport’s finest racers and greatest men.”
Caselli’s accomplishments included the 2011, 2012 and 2013 AMA National Hare & Hound National Championships, 2007 AMA Sportsman of the Year honors, numerous ISDE gold medals, several first-American ISDE finishes and an overall ISDE E3 class victory in 2007. Caselli also was a member of the World Championship winning 2006 ISDE U.S. Junior Team.
Caselli had recently announced a shift to international rally racing for KTM, a move that was expected to fuel additional American interest in the sport of rally racing and was chronicled in a cover story in the off-road version of the December issue of American Motorcyclist, the journal of the AMA.
*""November 16, 2013
B U L L E T I N
SCORE International confirms tragic racing accident claims life of American desert racing star Kurt Caselli
ENSENADA, Mexico—SCORE International, a desert racing sanctioning body based in Reno, Nev., has confirmed that American motorcycle star Kurt Caselli tragically lost his life Friday as a result of injuries sustained during a late-race accident at the SCORE Baja 1000 being held in Mexico’s Baja California.
One of the best-liked and respected personalities in American desert racing, Caselli, 30, of Palmdale, Calif., died of serious trauma incurred when he apparently lost control of his KTM motorcycle in a sandy, high-speed section at approximate race-mile 792 while his team was leading in the late stages of the 883.1-mile international desert race.
The accident occurred at 4:30 p.m. PT Friday.
“Our desert racing family has lost a very special person in Kurt,” commented SCORE President Roger Norman. “Kurt was a superb racer and this is a tragedy that affects us all. We extend our deepest condolences, thoughts and prayers to the Caselli family. Their loss is immeasurable and we grieve with them.”
A multi-time AMA National Hare & Hound Champion, WORCS Champion and many-time ISDE gold medalist, Caselli was a developing international rally racer as well. In June of this year he won the Desafio Ruta 40 Rally in Argentina – in what was only his second international rally since making his debut in the Dakar Rally at the end of 2012. Caselli won two stages of the Dakar Rally this past January.
Caselli and his factory-backed KTM racing team won last year’s SCORE San Felipe 250 and finished second and third in the other two SCORE Baja races this season."
*Before the incident:
Press Report after BAJA 1000 Qualifying:
""The Pro Motorcycle class took a new turn in Baja California, Mexico, today, even before the official start of the 46th annual Tecate SCORE Baja 1000. Racers took part in a timed qualifying format on a slightly modified version of the five-mile course that the Trophy Trucks used, just outside of Ojos Negros, to set the front of the field for the race, which is scheduled to start at 11 p.m. Thursday night.
In a frantic sprint unlike anything that many of the racers are used to, FMF/Bonanza Plumbing KTM’s Kurt Caselli is generally acknowledged to have claimed the top spot, although official results were not available as of our post time. Caselli is said to have completed his flying lap between one and three seconds faster than Johnny Campbell Racing Honda’s Colton Udall, with THR Motorsports/Monster Energy Kawasaki’s David Pearson timing third quickest, setting the front three starters for the grueling 883.1-mile race.
Qualifying may be something new, but the top three teams all expressed satisfaction with the format, especially considering that their race will begin in the dark on Thursday evening in an attempt by SCORE to make the race safer by lessening the interaction between motorcycles/ATVs and the four-wheeled vehicles, which are scheduled to start at 9 a.m. on Friday. The riders’ reasoning was that it gives them the opportunity to control their own fate and avoid being stuck behind numerous slower entrants in the blinding dust that is a staple of Baja competition.
“It’s good, I think,” Caselli said. “You know, with the draw it is kind of just out of your hands, but when you have qualifying you can sort of strategize and put your fastest guy out there. Obviously he has to start, too, but you feel like you earned that spot, to start up front. That was our goal today, to start tomorrow’s race up front.”
Caselli appears to have reached that goal, as he called upon his decade of International Six Days Enduro special test experience to forge a blazing-fast lap on the Ojos Negros course after all the teams were only allowed two sighting laps.
“It went okay,” Caselli said. “We only got two laps to look at the course, and it is kind of tough to memorize everything in two laps, but it kinds of reminds me of the ISDE, where you have to go out and sprint. I just wanted to be smooth, not make any mistakes or blow any corners. I think Colton (Udall} and I were pretty close at the end.”
Caselli added that the team is hopeful it can take advantage of the clean air that is a clear advantage to whichever rider or team starts the race in the number-one position.
“Obviously it is going to be sketchy (the race will start at 11 p.m. tomorrow evening rather than early Friday morning as it has in the past), and the dust is going to play a big factor, but I am up for it,” he said.
The FMF/Bonanza Plumbing KTM team will use four riders to cover the 833-mile race distance. Caselli will start the race before handing the reins to Kendall Norman, the runner-up finisher at the Baja 500 last June. Norman will relay to Ivan Ramirez, and former AMA National motocrosser-turned off-roader and EnduroCrosser Mike Brown is also on the team. Caselli said that winning the the Baja 1000 is a goal he has set for himself.
“Baja has always been on my list,” Caselli said, “but there is a lot to learn, way more than just riding the bike. A win (by KTM) is something that’s not just myself but a lot of other people have wanted to see it for a long time, and I will be very happy if I can be a part of that. I’m not trying to take any glory. I just want to be able to say that I was part of a winning team.”""
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