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Kurt Caselli

INDUCTED: 2019

2007 AMA Sportsman of the Year 11 National Championship Event Wins 2011, 2012 and 2013 AMA National Hare and Hound Championships 2012 Won Baja San Felipe 250, a race on Mexico’s Baja Peninsula organized by SCORE 2013 Won Desafio Ruta 40 Rally in Argentina, a round of the FIM Cross-Country Rally World Championship Series 2006 Was a member of the ISDE U.S. Junior Trophy Team that won its category at the FIM International Six Days Enduro in Taupo, New Zealand.

Few off-road racers have been as respected and well-regarded as the late Kurt Caselli—and perhaps no other has achieved such admiration in a career cut so tragically short.
Kurt Caselli was born into an off-road riding family. Kurt’s father, Rich Caselli, was an active member of the Prospectors Motorcycle Club of AMA District 37.
Caselli started riding young, and started racing soon after. The wins came quickly. One of his first amateur titles was the local series’ Mini Enduro class championship at age 14. In 1998, at age 15, he won the desert championship in his class. In 2000, Caselli won an amateur championship in three disciplines: enduro, desert and grand prix.
In 2002, Caselli notched a notable victory at the Vikings MC Hare Scrambles, winning the overall on a KTM 125. Other important individual event wins included the 1999 Dirt Diggers Hare Scrambles, the 2000 Rovers Hare Scrambles and the 2001 Hilltoppers Desert Scrambles.
Soon, however, Caselli’s focus shifted to the world stage. His representation of the United States in international events elevated his stature among American fans.
He set his sights on the FIM International Six Days Enduro, competing in the ISDE for 12 years. Eight times, he was the top-finishing American rider, and he won his class twice. He was on the winning U.S. Junior Trophy Team in 2006, and the U.S. World Trophy Team in 2013, when the team finished second.
This experience earned Caselli a ride on the factory-backed KTM team, and he committed full time to the AMA National Hare and Hound Championship Series in 2011. That year, Caselli defeated the defending champion for the AMA No. 1 plate. In 2012, he successfully defended his title before repeating that performance in 2013. At this point, Caselli and KTM decided his future would be in international rally racing.
Those hopes were bolstered by his strong showing in the 2013 Dakar, as well as his win at the Desafio Ruta 40 that year. Caselli’s final race before making the full leap to rally racing would be the Baja 1000 finale in Mexico with Ivan Ramirez, Mike Brown and Kendall Norman.
Caselli died competing in that race after colliding with a large animal. He was survived by his mother Nancy, sister Carolyn, fiancée Sarah, other family members, and countless friends and fans.
Kurt Caselli is remembered for his incredible skill and talent on an off-road motorcycle, but perhaps his greatest, and most lasting, impact was his role, inspired by his father Rich, to foster a deep sense of team, dedication and patriotism among U.S. riders competing at the ISDE.
Although Caselli didn’t live to see the fruits of his work, those efforts paid off in 2016 when the U.S. World Trophy Team won the World Trophy, an achievement that had eluded American riders since the event began in 1913.