1-9-06, 5:15 pm, EST
We’ve just learned of the death of popular Australian KTM rider Andy Caldecott. The accident occured at the beginning of the 9th stage, the 23rd fatality to occur since the rally’s inception in 1979.

Mr. Caldecott’s participation in the Dakar rally was one of the more colorful stories of involvement, and his loss will surely be marked by his hometown, and remembered by his many friends around the globe. He leaves behind a wife, Tracy, and a daughter, Caitlin.

In announcing his death today, KTM Motorsport issued the following statement:

Australian Repsol KTM rider Andy Caldecott fatally crashed on the 9th stage of the Dakar (Nouakchott – Kiffa).

The accident happened directly after the day off. This information has totally shocked us, we’re at a loss for words.

The terrible accidents in the past 2 years caused us to start with mixed feelings and question our rally engagement. The presenters of the Dakar have tried to make the rally safer together with several manufacturers. A tempo limit has been adopted, a GPS system which enables each rider to be located and to allow him to communicate with the presenter. Riders can have more rests now due to shorter tank stops. A pretty sportive rally until yesterday’s day of rest eclipsed the pain of the past - today we were brutally pulled out of our dream to make this rally safe.

Our thoughts are with Andy and his family.

KTM Motorsport