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.