Sunday, November 24, 2013

KTM Racing Asks Public To Submit Special Moments With a Very Special Person, Kurt Caselli

KTM Sportmotorcycle AG and KTM Racing are appealing to everyone throughout the racing community who may have shared special moments with Kurt Caselli to share them with us

Please send us your stories, anecdotes, tributes and photos to honor Kurt’s memory. He tragically lost his life in a racing accident while competing in the recent SCORE Baja 1000.

This compendium of memories of Kurt is for the Caselli family and it is hoped that the collection will be a worthy tribute to someone very special who will be very sadly missed throughout the international racing community. 

Kurt was an accomplished off-road and desert rider, admired and respected in racing circles for his skill, natural talent and exemplary sportsmanship far beyond the borders of his home country. He was not only one of the most popular figures on the KTM Team but also a great role model for young riders and fans. He is and will always be remembered as a champion on the bike, and in life.

Both the Caselli family and KTM will appreciate receiving contributions to honor Kurt’s life, which can be submitted up to January 30, 2013 to the following addresses:
Caselli Collection
KTM Sportmotorcycle AG
Betriebsgebeit Süd, 
Stallhofnerstrasse 38,
A- 5230, Mattighofen, Austria

OR via email to:
(For US residents)
Attn: The Caselli Family
38429 Innovation Court
Murrieta, CA 92563

Memorial Ride Day for Kurt Caselli
The Caselli family has also invited all family, friends and fans of Kurt to honor his life in a special Memorial Ride Day to be held at Glen Helen Raceway on December 6, 2013 from 10:00am to 3:00pm.

December 5, 2013

Taylor Robert is one of the newest members on the FMF/KTM off-road team.
KTM announced the seven racers who will make up its 2014 FMF/KTM off-road
team. Not a whole lot changed but it did add former WORCS Champion Taylor Robert and Kacy Martinez to the line-up.
Robert, who will concentrate on the EnduroCross Championship, signed a three-year deal with the team, as did National Enduro Champion Charlie Mullins and GNCC champ Kailub Russell.
"It is an honor to race for the KTM team,” Robert said. “I know they have a history of winning off-road championships and I am hoping to give them some more. I am thankful for the opportunity and excited to showcase the product in the EnduroCross Series and in the ISDE next season."
Kacy Martinez will take over the reigns from current Women’s GNCC champ Maria Forsberg, who recently announced her retirement from racing. Martinez will step up to the factory rig and try to pick up where Forsberg left off.
Mullins will compete in both the 2014 Enduro and GNCC Championships, while Russell will return to defend his number-one plate in GNCC.
"Kailub and I battled the whole season last year and I plan to challenge him even more next season,” Mullins said. “No racer likes to get second and I am going to do my part to make sure I am in the championship hunt this next season.”
"I made some changes to my program last year that helped me as we neared the end of the season,” Russell said. “It felt great to get my first XC1 Championship and now I am determined to stay on top. I am looking forward to an exciting season."
Eight-time National Enduro Champion Mike Lafferty will return in enduro for his final year of racing, while Steward Baylor will be back to win back the National Enduro title that he earned in 2012 and will compete full time in the XC1 class for the first time in the GNCC Series. Baylor missed most of 2013 with a wrist injury.
In the desert, Ivan Ramirez will focus on the National Hare & Hound Championship.
"Last year was my first full-time year in the series,” said Ramirez who finished fourth in the 2013 Championship. “I love desert racing, so I am really looking forward to returning to that series. I learned a lot from my friend Kurt Caselli and I am hoping to take what he has taught me and go after my first title in that series."
"We lost a great leader in our team with the passing of Kurt Caselli, and it is our goal, to continue to do what he has taught us to do, which is to continue to improve each season to reach new goals and championships," said Factory FMF/KTM Team Manager Antti Kallonen. "We've always had a team of great riders and this year is no exception. The 2013 season was very successful and it is never easy to repeat that success but with our group of riders, mechanics and team staff I know we have what it takes to defend current titles and go after new ones."

UPDATE! December 9, 2013

""KTM Racing Press Release:

KTM Motorsports and FMF Racing have worked together with the Caselli family to set up a foundation to honor Kurt Caselli, who passed away in a tragic motorcycle accident on November 15, 2013.
“My son, Kurt, loved to learn and he loved to race,” commented Kurt’s mother, Nancy Caselli. “He was inquisitive and investigative. I am hopeful that this foundation will initiate learning, inspire others and help raise the bar for increased rider safety. Kurt would be proud, as am I, to promote this foundation’s effort to better protect current and future racers for years to come. Thank you to all for your support in his memory.”
A portion of the Caselli Foundation money will go toward a scholarship for high school seniors. Caselli’s sister, Carolyn, works as an English teacher at Corcoran High School, and she knows how important it is to encourage students to follow their dreams. “My brother Kurt had an amazing job doing what he loved. He inspired thousands of young riders to follow their dreams,” stated Carolyn. “I believe, and I know Kurt would agree, that the beauty of living your dreams is not only in the courage to dream large, but also, and more importantly, in the learning, dedication, and hard work required for turning those dreams into reality. I am proud to create this scholarship encouraging the hard work it takes to live your dreams. In this way, Kurt’s legacy will continue forward not just in the off-road community, but in the lives of all young believers.”
The Caselli Foundation Chairman position will be held by Kurt’s fiancée Sarah White. White has worked with Factory FMF-KTM Team Manager, Antti Kallonen, to also use proceeds from the Caselli Foundation to help fund new technology for increased rider safety in off-road racing competitions. “Any racing is dangerous but especially desert racing because of high-speeds and the long distance covered. It is harder to receive help right away since it’s not a closed circuit format. We feel the Caselli Foundation would be a great opportunity to help find suitable safety equipment that can be used in any kind of racing in the US and across the world that can one day be compatible with all promoters and competitions,” remarked Kallonen.
All proceeds from the Caselli Memorial Ride Day will be given to the Caselli Foundation. All proceeds from any of the Kurt Caselli memorial stickers or t-shirts sold through FMF will also be earmarked for the foundation.
People interested in donating money for the foundation can send money to:
KTM North America, Inc.
c/o: Caselli Foundation
38429 Innovation Court
Murrieta, CA 92563""

UPDATE: December 16, 2013

""2014 Red Bull KTM Factory Riders at Dakar
With the untimely death of its factory rider Kurt Caselli at this year’s Baja 1000, KTM Racing is spending much time coming to terms with the tragedy.
As part of consoling, KTM Racing is looking to provide the Austrian manufacturer with “stability during the Dakar.” And as part of this stability, KTM Racing has signed Spanish rider Jordi Villadoms to the Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team for the 2014 Dakar.
The late-entry rider, who rode for KTM from 2006 through 2010, will be the support rider for three-time Dakar winner Marc Coma. The 33-year-old Villadoms’ best finish at Dakar was fourth overall in 2012.
Speaking of the signing, KTM Racing Team Manager Alex Doringer says “we are very aware that no-one is able to replace Kurt, who was a special friend and teammate, but we believe that what we need now for the team is stability.
“Jordi has worked with us in the past and he has a lot of Dakar experience. This experience he has, along with the familiarity with the team, will help us during this difficult transition period.”
Villadoms said he was looking forward to riding again for the KTM Factory team.  “It’s obviously a shame to be inheriting the ride under such sad circumstances, but I’ll be doing my best to put on a good show in Kurt’s memory,” Doringer said.
Joining Coma and Villadoms in the team for the 2014 edition of the Dakar are Portugal’s Ruben Faria and Francisco ‘Chaleco’ Lopez of Chile. They will be competing on the latest edition of the KTM 450 Factory Rally bike, which has been re-designed from the ground up, as the team attempts to capture another Dakar victory, KTM reports.
KTM has won the Dakar every year since their breakthrough year in 2001, except for 2008 when it was cancelled at the last minute because of security issues in Northern Africa.
The Dakar Rally starts on Jan. 5, 2014 and this year takes riders through Argentina, north into Bolivia and then down into Chile where it concludes at Valparaiso on Jan. 18, 2014.""

UPDATE: December 30, 2013

Baja Racing 

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