R.I.P. Kurt Caselli

Cycle News Staff | November 15, 2013
  Kurt Caselli was killed while competing in the Baja 1000. Photography by Kit Palmer

Off-road star Kurt Caselli died today at the age of 30.

AMA Hare & Hound Champion Kurt Caselli succumbed to the injuries he suffered while competing in the SCORE Tecate Baja 1000 in Baja California, Mexico, earlier today, November 15. Caselli was 30 years old.

Information regarding the incident is still somewhat vague, but it’s been widely reported that the factory-backed KTM rider hit a man-made “booby trap” at mile marker 796 (of the 883.1-mile race) while leading and while involved in a close battle with the eventual winning JCR Honda Team. Caselli was reportedly flown to a hospital in Ensenada with major head injuries. KTM’s second entry reportedly withdrew from the race after the accident.

No official word has been released from the KTM team or from SCORE officials.

Caselli is widely regarded as one of the best off-road racers in the world. A multi-time AMA National Hare & Hound Champion, WORCS Champion and many-time ISDE gold medalist, the Californian was just beginning a new career in rally racing as a member of the KTM team. In June of this year, Caselli won the Desafio Ruta 40 Rally in Argentina – in what was only his second international rally since making his debut in the Dakar Rally at the end of 2012. Caselli won two stages of the Dakar Rally en route to finishing 31st overall in his debut in the race generally regarded as the most difficult off-road race in the world.