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Off-road racing champion Kurt Caselli, 30, dies after Baja 1000 crash (UPDATED)

Nov 16, 2013, 6:31 PM EDT

dakar-stage11-4_3 AP

UPDATED (6:30 p.m. ET): 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. According to, 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, or WORCS.

AMA president and CEO Rob Dingman issued this statement earlier today on Caselli’s tragic death:

“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. 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.”

Our thoughts are with Caselli’s family and friends at this time.

  1. worknman24hours - Nov 16, 2013 at 2:49 PM

    It’s not a “bobby trap” if it kills someone.

    It’s an intentionally designed murder trap.

    Sadly, people who can’t even be said to be spectators have taking to making these hidden pits and tire trapping rut complexs hidden over high speed raises just so they can post what they think is something to laugh about on YouTube.

    I hate these people with every fiber of my being and hope they can be found and put in jail for the time it deserves to be setting up obstacles designed create high speed disasters.

    Our condolenses to the family, friends and fans of Kurt Caselli.

    • worknman24hours - Nov 17, 2013 at 12:30 AM

      Although I am glad to read that Caselli did not meet his end at the hands of another human beings bad deeds I still stand by what I said about the ‘people’ who go out to these long run desert races and set up accident causing obstacles to the racers.

      We send our condolenses to Mr.Caselli’s family, friends and fans again as well.

      You can’t stop on a dime when an animal runs right under your tire and you are trying to win a race.

    • jackxp99 - Nov 17, 2013 at 4:06 AM

      Kurt Caselli Not Killed By Booby

  2. kylecoats20 - Nov 16, 2013 at 8:03 PM

    Here is the Official video of the 360 Barrel Roll from the Baja 1000.

    Amazing still happens.

  3. louhudson23 - Nov 17, 2013 at 4:11 AM


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