KTM has paid a heartfelt tribute to up-and-coming motocross rider Rene Hofer after he was killed in an avalanche tragedy that claimed the lives of three people.
Hofer, aged 19, was one of 11 people skiing as part of a group in the Austrian mountains near Salzburg when they were caught up in an avalanche that buried five of them. Though two managed to escape free, three perished, including Hofer.
The incident has sent shockwaves through the Motocross community and among KTM, for whom Hofer was competing as a factory-backed racer in the MX2 World Championship.
Picked up by the Austrian company after impressing in the junior ranks, Hofer was competing in his first full season of MX2 but had already secured two victories en route to sixth in the standings and was considered both a title favourite for 2022 and likely to progress to MX1 soon.
He was also a winner for Team Austria in the Motocross of Nations, a rapid rise of success that was encapsulated by the man himself in a recent and very poignant quote in which he felt he was on track for great success in 2022.
“Now I know what it is like to be a Pro motocross athlete at this level!. It’s quite a nice feeling to be together with the team the whole year. We got off to a bit of a slow start and in the middle of the season I was still struggling from the lack of racing in 2020.
“The last few GPs were great. I had a few Pole Positions, a few podiums and a GP win. For sure it brought me a bit closer to the goal and was a confidence booster. I have shown what I can do…”
KTM Motorsports Director Pit Beirer led the tributes to Hofer.
In sport and life there are many ups-and-downs and some moments that are hard to accept. Losing Rene – who was such a young and appreciated member of our team and our family – in this way is almost unbelievable.
“All our hearts are with the Hofer family. Rene was a kid that pushed and pushed to get to where he was. He was a guy that lived to be part of the Red Bull KTM team but knew that reaching MX2 was just the start.
“The way he worked and the way he dedicated his life to racing even before he reached 20 years of age is an example to anybody.
“Rene, we will miss you.”