The racing community on both sides of the Atlantic and indeed around the world are this morning finding themselves mourning the loss of American Tommy Aquino in a motocross accident in his native California yesterday (Sunday) afternoon.
Tommy was training at an off-road track in Piru, 50 miles north of Los Angeles, when he suffered fatal injuries in an accident that left another rider seriously injured.
Initial press reports state that the two riders were involved in a head-on collision.
Aquino made the move from AMA to BSB in 2013 after a successful career at home that saw him finish the 2011 AMA Daytona SportBike championship in third.
He immediately made his mark on the National Superstock championship in 2013 despite still learning many of the tracks on his Team WD-40 Kawasaki, taking a maiden win at Cadwell Park and finishing the season in seventh.
The twenty-one year old was due to stay with the team for 2014, but a move was on the cards to step up to British Superbikes, and indeed was due to fly back to the UK soon for the team’s official launch at the London Motorcycle Show.
MCE BSB series director, who has been instrumental in helping organise his step up to BSB, said: “I am deeply shocked and saddened by the news which broke yesterday evening and can scarcely believe it. As recently as Saturday we were speaking with Tommy, finalising plans to announce his ascendency to the British Superbike class this year. In a short space of time Tommy had made a great impression on our Championship, with podium finishes and a win in his first season in UK competition, ambitions for the future were high and we were looking forward to his Superbike debut with great anticipation.”
“I remember meeting Tommy for the first time on the eve of the first round of 2013 Championship at Brands Hatch. With snow on the ground and temperatures very different to his native California he took some convincing that the move to the British Championship was the right one. But before long it was obvious that one of the most exciting talents to come out of the USA was beginning to make his mark; it’s so desperately sad that we never be able to see the obvious potential fulfilled. On behalf of the Championship I would like to extend our deepest condolences to Tommy's father Tom, his mother Carrie and his younger brother Michael as well as Brent Gladwin and all at Team WD40.”
MCN would like to join BSB and the racing community in extending our sincerest condolences to Tommy’s family, friends and fans.