Kurt Caselli has died after crashing his bike in the Mexican desert as he raced to the finish line in the Baja 1000.
The 30-year-old Californian, who had recently got engaged, was in second place when he lost control of his bike at 4.30pm on Friday.
Early reports that the course had been booby trapped by spectators were discredited, but the 833-mile Baja 1000 is known as one of the most challenging and grueling courses.
New information has emerged about the Baja 1000 accident that claimed the life of 30-year-old racer Kurt Caselli. According to a statement from the SCORE sanctioning body, Caselli lost control of his KTM bike near race mile 792 on the 833-mile course.
As for Caselli’s KTM Racing team, it has said in its own statement that it has discovered traces on Caselli’s bike that indicate “he had collided with some small animal,” causing the crash.
Initial reports that said an on-track booby trap caused Caselli’s crash have apparently now been discredited.Kawasaki rider Taylor Robert posted on his Facebook page that his teammate, Rickey Balbec, was the first to come upon Caselli and that Balbec went to get Caselli help while another rider, Ivan Ramirez, stayed with him.
“Even though the news didn’t come out until the night time, the accident happened while there was still daylight, and didn’t have anything to do with racing at night,” Robert said. “This was merely a racing accident.”
One of the more decorated competitors in the off-road ranks, Caselli was a three-time AMA National Hare and Hounds champion and had won the Desafio Ruta 40 Rally in Argentina this year – only his second internationally rally event after debuting in the 2013 Dakar Rally.
Despite being a newcomer to the famous race, Caselli won two Dakar stages this year. He was also a three-time champion in the World Off-Road Championship Series