Kurt Caselli (June 30, 1983 – November 15, 2013) was an American professional off-road motorcycle racer. He was a three-time AMA Hare & Hound National Champion and the 2007 AMA Sportsman of the Year. He died in a racing accident during the 2013 Baja 1000 in Baja California, Mexico.
Caselli grew up in Palmdale, California, the child of two desert racers who encouraged him in his athletic goals. He began racing at age 12 in Southern California's District 37. Caselli's father Rich died in 2008. He survived by his mother Nancy, sister Carolyn, and fiancée, Sarah Jean White.
His career achievements include:
- Three American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) National Hare and Hound National Championships, in 2011, 2012, and 2013
- AMA Sportsman of the Year in 2007
- Multiple International Six Days Enduro medals
- Winner of the 2013 Desafio Ruta 40 Rally in Argentina
- Two stages at the 2013 Dakar Rally with Factory KTM in place of injured rider Marc Coma
- Three Championships in the World Off Road Championship Series (WORCS)
- AMA Hall of Fame inductee 2019
Death and aftermath
On November 15, 2013, Caselli crashed while competing in the Baja 1000, a race in Baja California, Mexico, after colliding with a large animal at high speed. Early reports indicated that he hit a man-made booby trap, but that ultimately proved to be incorrect information. Caselli did not receive immediate medical attention, and he died at the site of his accident from internal injuries. He was 30 years old. His family honored his life and celebrated by hosting a memorial ride day on December 6, 2013 at Glen Helen Raceway in Devore, California. SCORE International have announced that they have taken steps to improve safety at future races. In December 2013, the Kurt Caselli Foundation was established.
The Kurt Caselli Foundation
The Kurt Caselli Foundation was established in December 2013, using donations from the memorial ride day, with the help of fans, family and friends. The foundation's focus is the safety of riders and racers in the off-road motorcycling industry. While they understand the inherent elements of danger, they aim to help minimize it to the best of their ability. The foundation has a three-part mission that encompasses safety precautions for riders before, during, and after a racing career.
- Before racing, they are committed to encouraging, developing, and standardizing safety precautions that will help minimize risk outside of the rider's control.
- During racing, they are committed to developing, establishing, and encouraging the use of safety equipment and policies to increase the safety of the riders.
- After racing, they are committed to providing a safety net that allows and encourages former racers to further their education and reach career goals for themselves and their families.
The foundation is working with the medical community piloting motorcycle concussion studies, improving race course safety precautions, developing improved GPS systems while racing, and offering scholarship opportunities for post-racing careers.
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- Turner, Jean (10 November 2015). "Off Road Quintessential". Cycle News. Retrieved 17 November 2015.
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