‘Ride in peace’: Tributes pour in for Superbike racer Dean Berta Vinales, 15, following his death after crash in Spain
The youngster, who was the cousin of MotoGP star Maverick Vinales, died after being involved in a five-rider crash during the World Supersport 300 World Championship feeder series race.
The severity of Vinales' injuries was made apparent after race organizers immediately flew a red flag before making the call to cancel the rest of the day's racing. Initial reports state that the other riders involved in the accident are unharmed.
In a statement confirming their worst fears shortly afterwards, World Superbike announced: "Following a serious incident during Race 1 of the Motul Spanish Round of the FIM Supersport 300 World Championship at the Circuito de Jerez-Angel Nieto, it is with great sadness that we report the passing of rider Dean Berta Vinales."
We’re deeply saddened to report the loss of Dean Berta Viñales.The #WorldSBK family sends love to his family, loved ones, and his team. Your personality, enthusiasm, and commitment will be hugely missed.The whole motorcycle racing world will miss you, Dean. Ride in Peace. pic.twitter.com/46KuUt4Vnl— WorldSBK (@WorldSBK) September 25, 2021
The update also confirmed that Vinales had been treated for severe injuries to his head and thorax and had been transported to a Seville hospital by emergency airlift.
Vinales had been competing in his maiden WorldSSP300 season as part of his family-run Vinales Racing Team, founded by his uncle – Maverick Linares' father – to help promote young Spanish racing talent.
The teenager had shown significant promise in his rookie campaign, finishing fourth in a race at the Magny-Cours event in August before qualifying in 10th on the grid for this weekend's WorldSSP300 races.
Oh not again. Such tragic news about Dean Berta Viñales.But how many times does this need to happen?— Leigh M O'Gorman (@LeighOGorman) September 25, 2021
2006 - 2021Following a serious incident in Jerez this morning, FIM Supersport 300 World Championship rider Dean Berta Viñales, cousin of MotoGP rider Maverick, has sadly passed away.The thoughts of everyone at BT Sport are with Berta's friends, family and team-mates. pic.twitter.com/qQEEu37xTc— MotoGP on BT Sport (@btsportmotogp) September 25, 2021
Confirming the news on social media, the team said it was "devastated" by the loss.
"It's with the heaviest of hearts that we announce the passing of Dean Berta Vinales," they wrote. "We're devastated and, at this time, all of our thoughts are with Dean's family. You'll be sorely missed and never forgotten, Dean."
Linares' passing comes just months after 14-year-old Hugo Millan was killed after crashing during a race in Spain. In May, Swiss MotoGP rider Jason Dupasquier, who was 19, died after a crash involving two fellow riders during a qualifying session in Italy.Also on rt.com ‘We are deeply saddened’: Tributes pour in after motorbike sensation Hugo Millan, 14, dies following horror crash during race
"We’re deeply saddened to report the loss of Dean Berta Viñales," the official World Superbike Twitter account said.
"The World Superbike family sends love to his family, loved ones and his team. Your personality, enthusiasm, and commitment will be hugely missed. The whole motorcycle racing world will miss you, Dean. Ride in Peace."
"Oh, not again. Such tragic news about Dean Berta Viñales. But how many times does this need to happen?" added a racing fan on social media.
"2006-2021," wrote broadcaster BT Sport. "Following a serious incident in Jerez this morning, FIM Supersport 300 World Championship rider Dean Berta Vinales, cousin of MotoGP rider Maverick, has sadly passed away."Also on rt.com Motorcycling in mourning: Jason Dupasquier, 19, dies in hospital from injuries sustained in horrific crash during race