Wisconsin GNC2 racer Charlotte Kainz died yesterday from injuries sustained in a crash at the Santa Rosa Mile. In the second corner of her heat race, a rider in front of Kainz high-sided, and according to reports, she was hit by the tumbling bike and caught up in the resulting chain-reaction crash. Unfortunately, this appears to be a tragic racing incident of the type that can never be completely eliminated – though increasingly lessened through improvements in safety equipment.

Whenever a racer dies at an event, the natural reaction among racers and fans, alike, is to want to find a way to prevent this from happening again. If the racer is as young and popular as Kainz, who was just 20 years old, the instinct is even stronger.

Since Flat Track racing is one of the few motorcycle events that still take place with immovable track structures so close to the racers and the racing line, the almost immediate reaction to learning about a crash in Turn 2 is to acknowledge the possibility of riders impacting objects at the outside of the track. However, Kainz’s death apparently wasn’t caused by such an impact.

For now, we ask racers and fans to join us in holding the Kainz family in our hearts.

  • 12er

    Was afraid of that just where the crash occurred. I was there night before but sat out yesterdays heat for the big show. Glad I did as fanschoice cut away for 20 min. Too sad…

  • Catrinka

    It was sad to watch. They worked very hard to revive her. But it wasn’t to be. She’s up in Heaven working on a new bike now…

    • Evans Brasfield

      And now even more bad news: Kyle McGrane has also died, I believe from a solo crash, but I haven’t confirmed that, yet.

      • Catrinka

        That’s what my son said, we had stepped out for a hamburger when that crash happened. OMG, so sad. Not a great day for racing 🙁

  • Old MOron

    I’d never heard of her, but that doesn’t matter. I’m sorry to lose one of our own.

  • Starmag

    Too soon to go for this lass. : 7 (

    Mile races are mad. Go see one if you haven’t.

  • Pothole

    Also, later Kyle McGrane crashed out of turn 4, and succumbed to his injuries Monday after.
    Rip Charlotte and Kyle.

    • ‘Mike Smith

      I had no idea flat track racing was so dangerous.

      • Gruf Rude

        Back in the late 60s-early 70s two flat trackers I knew personally from the bike shop where I worked were killed. One died three days after being knocked through the fence by his own bike at the Oklahoma mile. The other died of complications from the paralysis he suffered at an indoor short track. Flat tracks are not safe.

        • ‘Mike Smith

          Sorry to hear that about the guys killed. I’d go to watch if there was one near by. All tracks of any kind are over 100 miles away or much more.

  • guymacher

    A great rider! RIP Charlotte.