UPDATED: Off-road star, Palmdale native killed in crash


(Photo credit: Kinney Jones)

ENSENADA, Mexico—SCORE International has confirmed that American motorcycle star Kurt Caselli tragically lost his life Friday as a result of injuries sustained during a late-race accident at the SCORE Baja 1000 being held in Mexico’s Baja California.

One of the best-liked and respected personalities in American desert racing, Caselli, 30, of Palmdale, died of serious trauma incurred when he apparently lost control of his KTM motorcycle in a sandy, high-speed section at approximate race-mile 792 while his team was leading in the late stages of the 883.1-mile international desert race.

The accident occurred at 4:30 p.m. PT Friday [Nov. 15].

“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.”

A multi-time AMA National Hare & Hound Champion, WORCS Champion and many-time ISDE gold medalist, Caselli was a developing international rally racer as well. In June of this year he 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 this past January.

Caselli and his factory-backed KTM racing team won last year’s SCORE San Felipe 250 and finished second and third in the other two SCORE Baja races this season.

(Information via press release from SCORE International)

**View our earlier story and video featuring Caselli below***

Off-road star and Palmdale native Kurt Caselli died Friday while competing in the SCORE Baja 1000 race in Mexico, according to published reports. The Highland High School graduate was “one of the best-liked and respected personalities in American off-road racing,” according to ESPN sports, which labeled Caselli “the king of the World Off-Road Championship Series.”

The specifics of the crash are still unclear, and no official word has been released from SCORE officials.

Widely regarded as one of the best off-road racers in the world, Caselli’s favorite riding spot was his hometown of Palmdale.

In his last message on social media (dated Nov. 7), Caselli posted the picture below with the following caption:

“….my favorite riding spot. The hills of Palmdale!! Born and raised on these trails, ill always love riding in my backyard!”

  8 comments for “UPDATED: Off-road star, Palmdale native killed in crash

  1. Jim
    November 17, 2013 at 11:19 am

    RIP Kurt Caselli,

    Hope that you have many riding days ahead of you in the great beyond.
    My prayers go out to the family and friends. Thanks for representing Palmdale in a positive manner throughout your career..

  2. Michelle
    November 16, 2013 at 5:45 pm

    Channel 4 news just reported that judging from the damage on his bike, he probably hit an animal causing him to lose control and crash.

  3. really
    November 16, 2013 at 5:16 pm

    You are lucky to live in the U.S and not have to worry about seeking food and a better life elsewhere. Its unfortunate this man died period. It doesn’t matter where. Death comes when least expected. You should give your posts some thoughts because it may be that because of those illegals that according to you, you are supporting you have a lot of the food that you eat. Its those illegals that are willing to do what people like you are not willing to do for minimum wage that pick those veggies and fruits that we all enjoy esting. Its unbelievable that when an american dies there is always some kind of trick behind it. It can’t be considered an accident. You make me sick!

  4. Bob
    November 16, 2013 at 6:57 am

    MEXICO: What a great place to vacation and to hold an off road race. I’ll bet my bottom dollar the Mexicans that planted the booby trap which resulted in the death of Kurt will someday soon illegally drift across the border and we Americans will end up supporting them.

    • Jason
      November 16, 2013 at 12:28 pm

      From what Ive read there was no booby trap.

      • Really!
        November 16, 2013 at 3:10 pm

        Why would anyone go to Mexico an race there?

        • Jason
          November 16, 2013 at 4:21 pm

          The Baja 1000 has been going on for nearly 50 years.

    • givemeabreak
      November 17, 2013 at 11:20 am

      All I can say is, if you are a real American, born and raised here like me.
      What a embarrassment you are to me and others for such a stupid comment. Almost funny if you weren’t sooo sad a person. I bet my bottom dollar your the kind that think the worst in all situations.

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