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2015-07-20 12:20

GRID START HORROR AT SECA: Bernat Martinez (left) and Daniel Riva were killed by a grid-start crash at the Laguna Seca Raceway. Image: Twitter

LONDON, England - Two Spanish motorcycle racers have been killed in a series of crashes on the start grid during a support race for the World Superbike championship at California's Laguna Seca circuit.

Spaniards Bernat Martinez, 35, and Daniel Rivas Fernandez, 27, died in hospital after a multi-bike accident in the second MotoAmerica Superbike/Superstock 1000 race on Sunday.

Roadracingworld.com reported witnesses as saying that Rivas had just launched his BMW S1000RR from Row 3 when his bike lost power and slowed suddenly. Rivas put his left hand up to alert other riders, according to racer Mark Heckles.

FIRST-LAP CHAIN REACTION

He was knocked off his bike and hit by other motorcycles. Rivas was also involved in the chain collision and sustained fatal injuries.

Wayne Rainey, a three-times 500cc motorcycle World champion and president of MotoAmerica, said in a statement on Sunday night.

"I really don't have any words to describe what we all feel. First and foremost is the loss to their families and loved ones. Our sincere condolences goes out to each and every one of them as well as (to) the MotoAmerica family."

The crash happened Lap 1 of the race and started a chain reaction.

Martinez was taken by ambulance to the nearby Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula; Rivas was flown to Natividad Medical Centre in nearby Salinas.


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