KTM has released a statement regarding Kurt Caselli’s fatal racing accident in the Baja 1000 yesterday, further clarifying what actually caused the crash. According to KTM, Caselli may have collided with an animal that strayed on to the course, squelching rumors of a man-made “booby trap.”
The KTM release said that, “Kurt was in a leading position when he suffered a crash that resulted in severe head trauma. He died of his injuries in Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico.
“The team, who have now recovered Kurt’s bike, discovered traces on the machine that indicate he had collided with some animal, which apparently caused the crash.”
Pit Beirer, head of KTM Motorsports, said: “Today we lost a KTM hero in the worst possible circumstances. 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 offroad racing.”
Jon-Erik Burleson, President of KTM North America, said: ”We at KTM can’t put into context the loss everyone in the motorcycling community is experiencing. Beyond his racing successes and talent as a rider, Kurt was above all else a core member of our greater off-road family that simply can’t be replaced. Kurt inspired the KTM family to keep pushing the limits of racing. He was the driving force behind our renewed efforts in Baja, Hare & Hound and the International Six Days Enduro. His work ethic, attitude and graciousness will never be matched.”
“The loss of Kurt is immense to the sport, our team and to our family,” said Antti Kallonen, Factory FMF/KTM Team Manager. “Kurt has been on KTM his entire professional career. Even in the early years he brought something special to the off-road environment by bringing a leadership role like no other. He had the uncanny ability to bring a team together for efforts big and small. Professional motorcycle racing is always considered an individual sport, but Kurt made it a team sport. Whenever there was an opportunity to lead, help, inspire, advise or coach Kurt went into it like he went into a race – completely prepared, completely confident and knowing he could win. Kurt was the most galvanizing force I’ve ever seen. Those who knew him were lucky. Those of us who got to work with him were blessed.”
The KTM release went on to say, “Kurt Caselli will be deeply missed by the entire KTM family, his teammates, his fellow competitors and by his fans all over the world. At this time of acute sadness, the KTM management and the entire KTM international family extend their heartfelt condolences to the Caselli family.”