A decorated champion, Kurt Caselli was a multi-time champ in many off-road races.
Rider: Kurt Caselli
Team: FMF / KTM
Born: June 30, 1983
Died: November 15, 2013
Kurt Caselli was born June 30, 1983 in the Southern California desert, and that’s also where he found his passion as a racer. Influenced by the example of his father Rich, who was an avid off-road rider and enthusiastic supporter of the sport, Kurt began to ride as a boy and by his mid-teens had started competing in mini enduros and desert races.
Caselli’s professional career began to take off in 2006 when he joined with Ricky Dietrich, David Pearson and Russell Bobbitt on the ISDE Junior Trophy Team in Taupo, New Zealand. The squad notched the United States’ third ever victory in the event that year. The following season Caselli entered the WORCS Pro class where he consistently finished on the podium, earning two wins and the title by four points over Nathan Woods. He then went on to finish eighth with Team USA in the ISDE World Trophy class. In 2007 Caselli was also named AMA Sportsman of the Year, an honor given by the American Motorcyclist Association to one “who has, in the opinion of AMA Racing, demonstrated a high degree of unselfishness and concern for the welfare of other competitors during the course of standard activity.”
In 2008 Caselli continued on in WORCS, battling against Dietrich and Bobby Bonds for the top-spot. He took two wins and three additional podiums to finish third overall. The KTM ace remained a part of the ISDE World Trophy Team, joined by Destry Abbott, Dietrich, Jimmy Jarrett, Nathan Kanney and Nathan Woods. Team USA finished third in 2008, earning its best result at the event in the class since the US Trophy Team took second-place in 1982.
Caselli continued as a representative on the US Team in ISDE competition in 2009, helping the squad on its way to a fifth-place finish. He switched gears stateside that year, however, choosing to enter the Grand National Cross Country Championship (GNCC) rather than WORCS. He struggled to find the same success in GNCC as he did in the desert racing series though, finishing seventh and earning just one podium through the 13-round season.
In 2010 Caselli returned to WORCS and won the pro class for the second time in his career, followed up by a fourth-place finish in the ISDE World Trophy class. 2011 marked his final stint in WORCS, and he finished on top once again for a third-career title in the series. He also entered the AMA National Hare & Hound series in 2011, earning the top-spot in that series as well. In 2012 Caselli ventured into even greater desert racing territory and contested the Baja San Felipe 250, which he won. He also took top-honors in the AMA National Hare & Hound Series again and finished fourth in ISDE competition.
Caselli’s skill as an off-road competitor earned him a spot on KTM’s factory-backed Dakar Rally team in 2013. During his first-ever outing in the grueling event Caselli earned two stage wins and finished 31st overall. He and Team USA also took second-place in the ISDE World Trophy class.
Caselli was on deck to compete in Dakar with KTM once again in 2014, but while contesting the 2013 Baja 1000 in November the 30 year-old rider suffered a fatal crash. The KTM champion was leading the 1000 in the final stages of the event when the accident occurred.
In the following months KTM Motorsports, FMF Racing and the Caselli family created a foundation in his honor to provide scholarships to high school seniors and provide funds for new technology for increased rider safety in off-road competition. More information on the Kurt Caselli Memorial Foundation can be found by contacting,
KTM North America, Inc.
c/o: Caselli Foundation
38429 Innovation Court
Murrieta, CA 92563
2013 – 2nd ISDE World Trophy
2013 – 31st Dakar Rally – KTM
2012 – 1st AMA National Hare & Hound
2012 – 4th ISDE World Trophy
2012 – 1st Baja San Felipe 250
2011 – 3rd ISDE World Trophy
2011 – 1st National Hare & Hound
2011 – 1st WORCS
2010 – 4th ISDE World Trophy
2010 – 1st WORCS
2009 – 5th ISDE World Trophy
2008 – 3rd ISDE World Trophy
2008 – 3rd WORCS
2007 – AMA Sportsman of the Year
2007 – 8th ISDE World Trophy
2007 – 1st ISDE E3 Class
2007 – 1st WORCS
2006 – 1st ISDE Junor Trophy
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