Tragedy Strikes Dakar Rally

Polish motorcycle racer Michal Hernik killed in third stage.

Michal Hernik headshot

Dakar Rally motorcycle racer Michal Hernik was found dead today along stage 3 at kilometer 206 between San Juan and Chilecito in Argentina. The 39-year-old from Poland was making his Dakar debut.

According to a statement issued by race officials, when the signal from Hernik’s IriTrack satellite communications system was lost and officials determined that the rider had not completed the special stage, a search party was sent out to the course.

Forty minutes later, a helicopter found Hernik’s body approximately 300 yards off the race route. “The onboard doctor could only confirm the rider’s death,” stated the release.

Circumstances surrounding Hernik’s death have not been determined. Officials said he did not show “any external signs of an accident.” Hernik was competing on a KTM 450 Rally Replica.

Having completed two of the 13 scheduled stages, Hernik was 84th overall in the general ranking. He had previously finished the 2013 Morocco Rally and 2014 Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge.