World Superbike star Dean Berta Vinales has died following a crash aged 15.
The crash took place in Saturday’s opening race of the Motul Spanish Round in the FIM Supersport 300 World Championships, and the event was immediately red flagged.
The multi-person accident occurred on the second turn of lap 11.
A statement from WorldSBK read: “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.”
“The rider suffered severe head and thoracic injuries. Medical vehicles arrived at the site immediately and the rider was attended to on track, in the ambulance and at the circuit Medical Centre,” the statement continued.
“Despite the best efforts of the circuit medical staff, the Medical Centre has announced that Berta Viñales has sadly succumbed to his injuries.
“And backing it up with sixth in Barcelona-Catalunya Race 2, having set the fastest lap in Race 1.
“He was showing great potential during the Motul Spanish Round, in the leading group and starting from his best Superpole result of tenth.”
Tributes to Vinales have poured in on Twitter.
The MotoGP Twitter account said: “We’re devastated by the tragic loss of @DeanBerta21 following a crash in #WorldSSP300 Race 1 today.
“Sending all our love and strength to Maverick Viñales and Dean’s entire family, his team and loved ones.”
“We’re saddened about the news of Dean Berta Viñales, former rider of HETC in 2019 and 2020,” tweeted Vinales’ former team FIM CEV Repsol.
“All our support goes to the family, friends and team. Ride in peace.”
Kawasaki rider Jeffrey Buis was declared the winner based on the results of the last completed lap.
And the rest of Saturday’s World Superbike action was cancelled as a result of the tragic accident.