According to reports, Rivas lost control of his bike racing down the opening straight and was struck by another bike. A multi-bike pileup ensued, with some riders injured more critically than others. Rivas, 27, was airlifted to Natividad Medical Center in nearby Salinas, and Martinez, 35, was taken by ambulance to Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula. Unfortunately both ultimately succumbed to their injuries.
"Our sincere condolences goes out to each and every one of them as well as the MotoAmerica family," said MotoAmerica president Wayne Rainey in the statement below. "They are in our thoughts and prayers." Laguna Seca chief Gill Campbell added: "We are deeply saddened to learn the news of the passing of Bernat Martinez and Daniel Rivas." As are we, and our deepest condolences go out to their family, friends, and the motorcycle racing community at large.
The sad news follows shortly after former F1 driver Jules Bianchi succumbed to injuries incurred nine months ago at the Japanese Grand Prix. We hope these will be the last such lamentable developments we'll have to report to you for some time to come.
MONTEREY, CA, JULY 19 - A chain-reaction, multi-bike incident on the first lap of today's second MotoAmerica Superbike/Superstock 1000 race at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca has resulted in the deaths of two competitors.
Bernat Martinez, of Alberic, Valencia, Spain, was transported from the raceway by ambulance to Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula (CHOMP) in Monterey, where he succumbed to his injuries. He was 35.
Daniel Rivas Fernandez, of Moana Galicia, Spain, was transported by REACH Medical Air Services to Natividad Medical Center in Salinas, where he also succumbed to injuries. He was 27.
"I really don't have any words to describe what we all feel," said MotoAmerica president Wayne Rainey. "First and foremost, is the loss to the families and loved ones. 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."
"We are deeply saddened to learn the news of the passing of Bernat Martinez and Daniel Rivas," said Gill Campbell, CEO and general manager of Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. "Our prayers and hearts go out to their families and teams."