Kurt Caselli was named the AMA Sportsman of the Year in 2007

Motocross racer Kurt Caselli died on Friday in Baja, Mexico, from injuries incurred at the 2013 Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 race. He was 30.

Kurt Caselli Crashed At Baja

Caselli lost control and crashed his KTM motorcycle near the high-speed race mile 792 at around 4:30 p.m. PST, according to a statement from SCORE International Off-Road Racing. At the time, he had been leading the 833.1-mile race. Caselli was on his way to an Ensenada hospital from the desert track when he died from his injuries.

It was first reported that the racer’s death was due to on-track booby traps constructed by locals to add danger and excitement to the race. KTM Bike’s Facebook page referenced the traps in a post yesterday: “The world lost one of the greatest riders ever to a booby trap placed on the Baja 1000 course. Our heart and prayers go out to Kurt and his family. Godspeed brother.”

Now, however, the booby trap theory has been thrown out and replaced by speculation that Caselli may have crashed into an animal. “The team, who have now recovered Kurt's bike discovered traces on the machine that indicate he had collided with some small animal, which apparently caused the crash,” read a statement on KTM’s website.

Kurt Caselli's Medaled Career

Caselli, who was named the AMA Sportsman of the Year in 2007, recently won his third consecutive AMA National Hare & Hound Championship title. In 2011, the regarded off-road racer began competing in the X Games. He was the WORCS champion in 2007, 2010 and 2011.

“Our desert racing family has lost a very special person in Kurt,” commented SCORE President Roger Norman. “Kurt was a superb racer and this is a tragedy that affects us all. We extend our deepest condolences, thoughts and prayers to the Caselli family. Their loss is immeasurable and we grieve with them.”

– Chelsea Regan

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