Dean Berta Vinales – cousin of MotoGP rider Maverick – tragically died at the tender age of 15 after a horror crash during the Superbike World Championship in Jerez on Saturday
Tributes have poured in for 15-year-old Dean Berta Vinales after the Spanish driver tragically died following a crash in Jerez.
Vinales was competing in the opening round of the FIM Supersport 300 World Championships when he was involved in a five-way collision at turn two at the start of lap 11 – which also involved Alejandro Carrion, Daniel Mogeda, Harry Khouri and Yeray Ruiz.
The race was immediately red-flagged by the stewards and paramedics immediately attended the scene – but World Superbike (WorldSBK) released a statement two hours later confirming the death of Vinales, cousin of MotoGP race winner Maverick Vinales.
Marc Marquez, six time MotoGP World Championship winner, was one of many who moved quickly to pay his condolences.
“Rest in peace Dean,” he tweeted.
“All my support to family and friends.”
WorldSBK themselves also used the platform to pay an emotional tribute: “We’re deeply saddened to report the loss of Dean Berta Vinales,” they said.
“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.”
Rival teams also released social media statements, with Team Suzuki Ecstar stating: “Today the racing world has suffered another terrible loss of young life as Dean Berta Vinales passed away following a crash in WSSP300. We wish to send our sincere condolences and thoughts to the whole Berta Vinales family.”
The Repsol Honda team responded with: “Sending our deepest condolences to the Vinales family. An impossibly difficult time.”
World Supersport team GMT94 Yahama added: “What a tough moment. RIP Dean Berta.
“Our thoughts are with his family and friends.”
Vinales was showing real potential in his maiden season in WorldSSP300 on a Yamaha this year, riding for the family-run Vinales Racing. The team was founded by Maverick’s father Angel at the start of the year with the aim of providing opportunities for young Spanish drivers in motorsport.
Vinales achieved a best finish of fourth place in the second race at Magny-Cours, France, last month and had qualified 10th on the grid for this weekend’s WorldSBK races in his native country.
The organisation (WorldSBK) have confirmed that he rider “suffered severe head and thoracic injuries,” following the tragic crash.