Will SCORE investigate the Caselli tragedy of errors?

mexgamer

Well-Known Member
Steve maybe your post wasn't meant to be disrespectful , but you also gotta take into acct that this subject is STILL very raw for most people on here . Afterall it's been almost barely a wk since this tragedy happened .
^^This.
I mean, I understand where you, Steve, are coming from. When a tragedy happens in any sport, usually an investigation follows it to determine IF it would be possible to prevent a similar situation in the future. Obviously, the nature of our sport makes it much more difficult because there are so many variables that we just cannot control.
We know the risks and accept them, right? Kurt Caselli knew this and we all know this. It was just an accident and I don't think it could have been prevented; yes, they couldn't find him right away but that was just a combination of factors (no spectators nearby, the next bike was 2 hours away, no easy way to access the course). This is not NASCAR where the longest track is just 2.6 miles long and you have a controlled environment; like I said, we all know the risks but accept them and still do it because we love it. It is a tragedy, but Kurt was doing what he loved; I guess that brings everyone of us some kind of comfort.

I don't think Steve meant to be disrespectful or anything, maybe the timing and/or wording wasn't the best.

Ride In Peace, Kurt Caselli
 

Steve Rogers

Well-Known Member
^^This.
I mean, I understand where you, Steve, are coming from. When a tragedy happens in any sport, usually an investigation follows it to determine IF it would be possible to prevent a similar situation in the future. Obviously, the nature of our sport makes it much more difficult because there are so many variables that we just cannot control.
We know the risks and accept them, right? Kurt Caselli knew this and we all know this. It was just an accident and I don't think it could have been prevented; yes, they couldn't find him right away but that was just a combination of factors (no spectators nearby, the next bike was 2 hours away, no easy way to access the course). This is not NASCAR where the longest track is just 2.6 miles long and you have a controlled environment; like I said, we all know the risks but accept them and still do it because we love it. It is a tragedy, but Kurt was doing what he loved; I guess that brings everyone of us some kind of comfort.

I don't think Steve meant to be disrespectful or anything, maybe the timing and/or wording wasn't the best.

Ride In Peace, Kurt Caselli
We all know there are risks in racing. Kurt knew the risks all to well. Kurt watched his friend Nathan Woods die at Honolulu Hills in 2011 then carried his son a wife around on a farewell lap the next day. There is absolutely no doubt that Kurt knew the risks of racing and so do I. I never once said that his crash was preventable. It almost assuredly wasn't. My problem is with the poor response KTM displayed after the crash and the fact it took two hours to locate him. We need to do better.
 

JDDurfey

Well-Known Member
I can give you some insight into the way I would have handled this situation if it had been my team. "Joe Rider"leaves the highway to ride this "section". So the chase crew goes to the next highway crossing to wait. When "Joe Rider" doesn't show up on time we wait for an hour or so to see if he limps in on a flat tire or damaged bike. We would wait for the next rider to come along and stop that rider even if it pisses him off and ask him if he has seen our rider. But in this case the next racer was several hours behind due to the huge lead they had. If "Joe Rider" was broke down or hurt, then the decision would be made to go back to the last place "joe rider" was seen and send somebody after him. You can't go backwards on the course looking for him. So you might drive for hours to get to the last access to the course. The variables in this situation are: do you have a chase bike and a rider available to ride it to go looking for "Joe Rider" and what if he arrives at the next road crossing looking for his chase crew while they are back tracking 60 plus miles down Mexican two lane roads to the last highway crossing? "Joe Rider" then may have to wait for several hours more for his team to find him. And get him back into the race.
A similar situation happened in the 03 1000 to the team I was the Crew Chief for. We only had to finish the race to win the Class 30 championship. I had chased all the way down highway 1 that day and when I sent our rider toward Coco's I hauled ass to the finish line. Rider changes were made and the last rider who was also our starter got on the bike at Valley T and headed up the goat trail. We were on track to be third in class and win the championship. As we waited at the finish line we passed the time he should have arrived and then bikes that were behind us started to arrive. I started asking them if they had seen our rider. When none had, we got on the radio and asked Weatherman if he had any news, he had none. The owner of the team asked me what we should do, and I said "we wait, it is dark and we have no idea where he is, but he knows where we are so if he is okay somehow he will find us." Instead of us aimlessly wandering between the finish line and Valley T looking for a rider in the dark who could pass us going the other way in a chase truck, we waited. And that is exactly what happened. Thankfully our rider didn't have a serious crash when his lights went out while riding at speed. He limped down an access road to the highway and found someone to give him and the bike a ride to town. This took several hours. In the end we did still win the championship, because I drove him back to Valley T, by now it was getting light, and we were able to get the bike to the finish line by about 10:30 that morning.

I do not know KTM's policy on this situation, but when a rider doesn't show it would be at least two hours before you could send someone for them.

I would like to believe the intent of the OP is good, but to incinuate that there was some sort of gross negligence on the part of KTM for not going sooner after their rider is appalling!!! Apparanly, you have never been in the shoes of the teams and riders and chase crews in Baja flying by the seat of your pants trying to win a race in the heat of the battle before. I do not see how this could have been handled any faster unless they had a chase helicopter over head at the time of the crash. Which, by the way, not many teams can afford.

To the OP, if this rider had been an unknown sportsman rider would you be making this statement? I think not! I know it is inconceivable that a rider of his talent would crash and die from his injuries, so it has to be someones fault, WRONG!! I had a teammate hit a cow in the 2000 and luckily he wasn't injured and got the bike to me and we fixed it and continued. I had a very very close call with a cow in 06 myself.
Even the best riders in the world make mistakes and things happen that are out of their control. Even if it had not been an animal in this situation, at speed there are a million ways you could make one little mistake and it take your life. That is part of the thrill of the race! While I don't want to die not want others to die, it is a dangerous sport and Mr Caselli knew that as well as every one else.

Ride in Peace Kurt, you are a great man.
 

mikerd400

Well-Known Member
My problem is with the poor response KTM displayed after the crash and the fact it took two hours to locate him. We need to do better.
I'm sure everyone involved did the best they could given the circumstances (remote location, poor radio coverage, etc).
 

Bro_Gill

Well-Known Member
Man. I sure am glad I live in the Good Ol' USA where we have things like Obamacare and land use laws that will prevent us from doingthings likje racing motorcycles in the dirt that could get us KILLED! Imagine if they let people do these things all th etime. It would be crazy, CRAZY! I am also glad they are starting to put an end to that evil sport of football and are doing all they can to prevent the further consumption of eating things like Meat, Popcorn, and large Sodas! Great post Steve, glad you are on their side.
 

randy68

#1 Enemy of Google
Man. I sure am glad I live in the Good Ol' USA where we have things like Obamacare and land use laws that will prevent us from doingthings likje racing motorcycles in the dirt that could get us KILLED! Imagine if they let people do these things all th etime. It would be crazy, CRAZY! I am also glad they are starting to put an end to that evil sport of football and are doing all they can to prevent the further consumption of eating things like Meat, Popcorn, and large Sodas! Great post Steve, glad you are on their side.
Couldn't have said it better..
 

Jack

Well-Known Member
I can give you some insight into the way I would have handled this situation if it had been my team. "Joe Rider"leaves the highway to ride this "section". So the chase crew goes to the next highway crossing to wait. When "Joe Rider" doesn't show up on time we wait for an hour or so to see if he limps in on a flat tire or damaged bike. We would wait for the next rider to come along and stop that rider even if it pisses him off and ask him if he has seen our rider. But in this case the next racer was several hours behind due to the huge lead they had. If "Joe Rider" was broke down or hurt, then the decision would be made to go back to the last place "joe rider" was seen and send somebody after him. You can't go backwards on the course looking for him. So you might drive for hours to get to the last access to the course. The variables in this situation are: do you have a chase bike and a rider available to ride it to go looking for "Joe Rider" and what if he arrives at the next road crossing looking for his chase crew while they are back tracking 60 plus miles down Mexican two lane roads to the last highway crossing? "Joe Rider" then may have to wait for several hours more for his team to find him. And get him back into the race.
A similar situation happened in the 03 1000 to the team I was the Crew Chief for. We only had to finish the race to win the Class 30 championship. I had chased all the way down highway 1 that day and when I sent our rider toward Coco's I hauled ass to the finish line. Rider changes were made and the last rider who was also our starter got on the bike at Valley T and headed up the goat trail. We were on track to be third in class and win the championship. As we waited at the finish line we passed the time he should have arrived and then bikes that were behind us started to arrive. I started asking them if they had seen our rider. When none had, we got on the radio and asked Weatherman if he had any news, he had none. The owner of the team asked me what we should do, and I said "we wait, it is dark and we have no idea where he is, but he knows where we are so if he is okay somehow he will find us." Instead of us aimlessly wandering between the finish line and Valley T looking for a rider in the dark who could pass us going the other way in a chase truck, we waited. And that is exactly what happened. Thankfully our rider didn't have a serious crash when his lights went out while riding at speed. He limped down an access road to the highway and found someone to give him and the bike a ride to town. This took several hours. In the end we did still win the championship, because I drove him back to Valley T, by now it was getting light, and we were able to get the bike to the finish line by about 10:30 that morning.

I do not know KTM's policy on this situation, but when a rider doesn't show it would be at least two hours before you could send someone for them.

I would like to believe the intent of the OP is good, but to incinuate that there was some sort of gross negligence on the part of KTM for not going sooner after their rider is appalling!!! Apparanly, you have never been in the shoes of the teams and riders and chase crews in Baja flying by the seat of your pants trying to win a race in the heat of the battle before. I do not see how this could have been handled any faster unless they had a chase helicopter over head at the time of the crash. Which, by the way, not many teams can afford.

To the OP, if this rider had been an unknown sportsman rider would you be making this statement? I think not! I know it is inconceivable that a rider of his talent would crash and die from his injuries, so it has to be someones fault, WRONG!! I had a teammate hit a cow in the 2000 and luckily he wasn't injured and got the bike to me and we fixed it and continued. I had a very very close call with a cow in 06 myself.
Even the best riders in the world make mistakes and things happen that are out of their control. Even if it had not been an animal in this situation, at speed there are a million ways you could make one little mistake and it take your life. That is part of the thrill of the race! While I don't want to die not want others to die, it is a dangerous sport and Mr Caselli knew that as well as every one else.

Ride in Peace Kurt, you are a great man.

Very well said.
I understand Steve' questions on this event, but I think any of us that have been doing this for awhile can surmise the answer that JD has given and then choose not to ask this question to our community as we grieve. It would be nice if there has a full trauma center every 100 yards along every race course, but we all know going in that is just not the case and is part of the allure of racing the open desert.
 

jowoog

Well-Known Member
i can only add a read they had a helo but it was down for fueling , continue the bash fest >.
 

mawtrophykart

Well-Known Member
Coming from a military/EMS background,if we lost contact w any one for 2 hours,we would be in deep sheet!( Article 15's would be flying) it would be nice to have a drone dedicated to this,it would be a 1/5 of the price of a helo and could fly at night. A drone couldn't transport but you could always call another teams' bird. I've often thought of crashing somewhere desolate like this, thankfully i hav'nt but I've been there on several others' occasions an it ain't pretty. We must remember that we compete in the highest fatality sport, and this will happen again. We must all learn from these tragedies and do our best to prevent them.
 

Fire1998

Well-Known Member
New guy here and have not raced baja but i have raced Vegas to Reno and other BiTD races. I know all the crews did what they could to find Kurt. Yes it was an unfortunate racing accident. My only concern is the bike was equipped with an SOS system on bike. Ivan pushed it immediately when he arrived on scene pinpointing Kurt's location. When a handlebar racer crashes at those speeds there's a good chance he isn't going to be able to get up and push the SOS button. Why can't this be hooked up to alarm when rider leaves bike, kinda like quad riders and the kill switch. If he's able to get back on bike it will automatically reset when he plugs back in. Might have helped find Kurt a little quicker. Should be looked at for the next races. The speeds at these long distance races are getting incredibly fast. When your looking for gear 6 and 7 on a 450, it's to damn fast!! One mistake and your done. I'm pretty much done racing at those speeds on a bike. I am building a class 1400 truck to race from now on. It's just not worth the risk anymore at my old age of 44.
I am still bummed about Kurts passing and think about it every day. I never met him but looked up to him as a rider and person. Old guys can still have heros of the sport to look up to. I was really looking forward to him kick some European ass in Dakar!!
 

FastGuy

Well-Known Member
I did a night pre run of that section last week. It was extremely fun, extremely dusty, littered with livestock and VERY communications unfriendly.
 

Hog Wild

Well-Known Member
Kurt and his bike were finally found in very deep brush which is why the heli was never able to spot him.
This is the unfortunate key to this issue. He and the bike were hidden from view, in a huge bush/tree. The helicopters looked, but didn't see him. The Honda 1x bike passed by, at a speed of 65mph, 27 minutes 9 seconds after the 2x crash time, and didn't see him either. Being hidden from view really screws up otherwise good rescue plans.

RIP KC
 

sirhk100

Well-Known Member
When a handlebar racer crashes at those speeds there's a good chance he isn't going to be able to get up and push the SOS button. Why can't this be hooked up to alarm when rider leaves bike, kinda like quad riders and the kill switch. If he's able to get back on bike it will automatically reset when he plugs back in.
Someone with some legit advice! Excellent post...
 

200MPHTape

Well-Known Member
Someone with some legit advice! Excellent post...
To many false alarms from get offs, where you just lay it down and jump right back on, rescues alarm would go off and then you would have to make contact to tell them all good and the key there is contact, seriously doubt radio contact could be made to a bike with a handheld?
 
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