Roadracer Tommy Aquino died Sunday afternoon when he collided with another rider while practicing at Piru Ranch MX, a privately owned motocross track located on Highway 126 west of Santa Clarita, California. The second rider survived the crash and was transported to a nearby hospital. Aquino was 21 years old.
A former motocrosser, Aquino turned pro two days after his 16th birthday in 2008 and placed 14th overall in AMA Pro 600 Supersport, earning Rookie of the Year honors. In 2011, riding a Graves Yamaha YZF-R6, Aquino won the final Daytona SportBike race of the season at New Jersey Motorsports Park and was third in the championship. The following year, Aquino split his time between DSB and Spain’s CEV Moto2 championship.
Last season, Aquino raced a Kawasaki ZX-10R in the British National Superstock Championship for the GR Motorsport WD-40 team. He won one race, at Cadwell Park, scored three podium finishes, and was seventh overall in points. He was expected to return to the team this season.
“You won’t find a better human being or someone who poured more effort into life,” remembered former AMA national champion Eric Bostrom. “My brother, Ben, and I spent weeks at a time with Tommy, riding bicycles and motorcycles. I will never forget Tommy’s smile, his attitude or outlook on life. Someday, we’ll meet each other again.”