Kurt Caselli has died. The racing champion sustained fatal head injuries during a crash at the Baja 1000 on Friday in Mexico. He was just 30 years old.
Caselli’s KTM Racing team had been in the lead for much of the 833-mile off-road race and was in second place when he crashed near mile 796.
The accident occurred approximately 5 p.m. PST.
Previous reports that Kurt’s crash was related to an on-course booby trap or other sabotage have been discredited, though an investigation is underway.
Caselli passed away, reports say, during transport to a hospital in Ensenada, about 60 miles south of the U.S. border on the Baja California peninsula.
Caselli was a Moto X Endurocross competitor at X Games beginning in 2011, and was one of the most highly decorated athletes in off-road racing.
He was named AMA Sportsman of the Year in 2007, and was in Baja fresh off of winning his third straight AMA National Hare & Hound Championship title.
The KTM Racing team posted the following statement on Friday night:
“[We are] hugely shocked and saddened to hear of the death of Kurt Caselli. A huge loss to his family, team and to our sport. Kurt was a wonderful competitor and an all round top guy.”
Tributes have been flooding out across social media overnight, including this one from the World Off-Road Championship Series Facebook page:
“It is with a heavy heart and fond memories of one of the greatest racers to ever kick their leg over a motorcycle that we morn the loss of a great one.”
“Kurt Caselli raced, lived and breathed off-road and was a role model to many. My tears and prayers are for his family and to all those that will feel the deep loss from our small community.”
Caselli was the WORCS champion in 2007, 2010, and 2011. R.I.P.