Kurt Caselli – Details on his passing away in Baja and remembering your pet at the 2013 ISDE

Black day in Baja

Story By Mark Kariya

The exhilaration involved in the closest and most dramatic Baja race since, well, the Baja 500 in June was totally overshadowed by the news that Kurt Caselli of the Bonanza Plumbing/FMF KTM team died shortly after crashing while leading late in the 46th Tecate SCORE Baja 1000.

He and teammates Mike Dark brown, Kendall Norman and Ivan Ramirez swapped the lead with Johnny Campbell Racing/Rockstar Energy/Lucas Oil Honda’s squad of David Kamo, Mark Samuels, Colton Udall and Timmy Weigand from the time they got the green flag at two-minute intervals beginning at 11: 00 P. M. PST on Thursday night, November 14, in the seaside city of Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico.

In SCORE’s first-ever qualifying session for Pro motorcycles on Wednesday, Caselli blitzed the training course the quickest and earned the suitable to start first the next night with Udall turning in a time just two seconds slower. THR Motorsports/Monster Energy/Precision Concepts Kawasaki’s David Pearson competent third, meaning it’d be simple to keep tabs on the three teams expected to compete for the lead

The particular THR team ran into difficulties early, reportedly running out of gasoline at around mile 70, and they’d be unable to recover that floor. In addition , Bell was said to possess crashed later.

That turned the race for the earn and series championship into a two-horse affair with both Honda and KTM pushing each other to the limit and beyond, resulting in mistakes on the part of both. KTM had to replace a front brake early but still managed to make up the lost time and stay with the Honda.

Later, Udall somehow came into a cattle guard sideways, dropping the front wheel of the CRF450X into the grates and smashing the wheel. Though the JCR Honda crew eventually got him a replacement, these people figured the best they could do will be to salvage second place.

Caselli got the bike through Ramirez and started toward the finish, but it’s reported that close to 4: 30 P. M. PST near mile 792 of the 883 total miles, he crashed and it is said to have sustained severe mind trauma. As it happened in a pretty remote location, it took some time before medical assistance–ironically, a medic associated with the Honda team–arrived. Unfortunately, he or she passed away before he could be evacuated.

Udall got going again and handed off in order to Rider of Record Weigand just before the finish so the team could get the points needed to secure the championship (SCORE rules dictate how the Rider/Driver of Record must possibly start or finish the competition in order to earn points). As phrase of Caselli’s death spread, no one at the finish felt like celebrating.

Caselli, 30, had accomplished much in his racing career and was more than just a good desert racer. He’d worked his way up the ladder winning championships in AMA District 37 desert competition prior to moving to WORCS, the AMA Hare & Hound Nationals and the ISDE where he won a couple handfuls of gold medals, the E3 class in Chile in 3 years ago and was part of the winning Junior World Trophy team in New Zealand in 2006.

After his tremendously successful fill-in ride for the injured Marc Coma at the Dakar Rally this year, he’d signed contracts to race for your Red Bull KTM Factory Rally Team in Dakar and other rallies next year, as well as with the FMF/KTM Factory Off-Road Racing Team to compete in the SCORE Desert Series.

He is survived by their mother, Nancy; older sister, Caroline, and fiancé, Sarah Jean White-colored plus others. He was forwent in death by his dad, Rich, a life-long dirt rider who introduced Kurt to the sports activity he grew to love and excel in.

Godspeed, Kurt Caselli, and ride in peace. The motorcycle community is better for achieveing known you and we’ll miss your own personality, professionalism and talent.


Kurt Caselli Remembered

Story And Photos By Shan Moore

Kurt Caselli was very talented on a dirt bike and equally at home in numerous genres of racing, including wilderness racing, WORCS, and his new effort, rally racing. However , he had a special love for ISDE, and he had been generally recognized as one of the leaders of the U. S. effort. Caselli mentored the new members of the team each year, and was particularly pleased with the U. S. Trophy Team’s runner-up finish this year in Sardinia, saying “I’ve been doing this a long time so it’s good to have some rewards. ”

Sardinia was Caselli’s final Six Times, so here’s a look at Caselli within Sardinia.


Kurt was especially good at mentoring the young riders. Here he “goofs” with Zach Osbrone, who was making his first look at the ISDE.


Kurt changes the rear tire on Day One.


Team members looked up to Kurt for management at Six Days.


The paddocks for the Sardinia event were established on a commercial port in Olbia were commercial ships came in and out every day. Here Caselli presents on one of the many tub boats that will serviced the large ships.


Getting underway on the first day of competition.


The Sardinia Six Days happened against many beautiful backdrops.


Caselli carving a tight turn in one of the exclusive tests.


Another shot on Day Four.


The payoff. Caselli and teammates celebrate the U. S i9000. World Trophy Team’s best finish since 1982 second place.

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