Tragedy has struck MotoAmerica just two days after Formula One driver Jules Bianchi died from injuries sustained during his horrifying crash at the Suzuka race in Japan last November 2014. Two MotoAmerica riders were killed during the Superstock 1000 race at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, giving the inaugural motorcycle racing series its first taste of real-life heartbreak.

Daniel Rivas and Bernat Martinez were the unwitting victims of a multi-bike accident that occurred during the start of the race. Footage recorded by fans who attended the race showed Rivas’ bike going down as a result of a multi-bike incident that occured shortly after the start of the race. A host of riders were involved in the massive accident, but Rivas and Martinez bore the brunt of crash. Both riders were immediately airlifted to Natividad Medical Center in Salinas and the Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula, respectively. Unfortunately, the two Spanish riders succumbed to the injuries they sustained from the crash.

Rivas was 27. Martinez was 35.

MotoAmerica, which was supporting a World Superbike event at Laguna Seca, issued a statement shortly after the tragic news, explaining the nature of the accident that resulted in the untimely deaths of its two riders.

"First and foremost, is the loss to the families and loved ones,” MotoAmerica president Wayne Rainey said. “Our sincere condolences goes out to each and every one of them as well as the MotoAmerica family. They are in our thoughts and prayers."

Other riders involved in the incident, including Josh Chisum, Devon McDonough, and Kevin Pinkstaff, were fortunate to have come out of the crash with their lives. That’s about the only piece of good news to come out of this horrifying ordeal, but it’s still good news.

That said, it’s nauseating to hear about the tragic deaths of these two riders, especially on the heels of us still coming to grips with the passing of Bianchi.

What a cruel, cruel weekend it was.

Continue reading to read more about the deaths of Daniel Rivas and Bernat Martinez.

Why it matters

Where do I even begin to start trying to come up with a silver lining to everything that happened in the motor racing scene this weekend? Seriously, where do I start?

It was bad enough to read about the passing of Jules Bianchi last Friday, July 17, 2015, after his seven-month battle for his life. Turns out, Bianchi’s death wasn’t even the last one we all had to deal with before the weekend even ended.

I really have no words other than some curse words in my head that I can’t print on this page. They’re just all there, swirling around as I try to come to grips with all the tragedy that has befallen the motor racing family in the last three days.

Obviously, on behalf of everyone here at TopSpeed, my thoughts on prayers go out to the families of Bianchi, Rivas, and Martinez. I can’t even begin to imagine that pain and anguish they’re all suffering right now. That’s as much comfort as I can offer now because I myself am still struggling to come to grips with everything that’s happened recently.

I know the inherent dangers in motor racing and I’m fully aware that even the most advanced safety features installed in these races can never compensate for crashes that take the lives of drivers and riders. I just hope that we don’t see any of this any more. That’s a lot to ask, but in times like this, what else is there to do but ask for some reprieve, right?

What do you think?
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