9-Year-Old Motorbike Racer Dead Following Crash in Brazil: ‘My Heart Breaks,’ His Idol Says

Lorenzo Somaschini was a confident young racer who many saw as a "child prodigy" in the sport, according to one newspaper

<p>Alamy</p> Interlagos Motorcycle Track in Sao Paulo, Brazil

Alamy

Interlagos Motorcycle Track in Sao Paulo, Brazil

Lorenzo Somaschini, a 9-year-old motorbike rider, has died following a crash during a practice round at an upcoming event in Brazil.

Somaschini died on Monday, June 17 after crashing Friday during a free practice at the Honda Junior Cup, the event’s organizers, SuperBike Brazil, announced.

“Everyone on the SuperBike Brasil team is appalled by the event and expresses sincere feelings to all of Lorenzo's family and friends,” the organizers said in a statement, according to an English translation.

Making the announcement “with great sadness and regret,” the organizers said Somaschini crashed during his first practice of the day.

The statement said the 9 year old “was promptly treated at the scene by the medical team in an ICU ambulance” and “was then taken to the racetrack's emergency room, where his clinical condition stabilized.” Afterwards, Somaschini was taken to Hospital Geral da Pedreira and later transported to Albert Einstein Hospital over the weekend, where he died Monday.

Somaschini, an Argentinian native, was born in Rosário in 2014 and wore the number 99 in honor of his racing idol, three-time MotoGP world champion Jorge Lorenzo.

Lorenzo took to Instagram on Monday to pay tribute to Somaschini.

"My heart breaks because I was his idol and he had my number,” Lorenzo wrote in a post on his Instagram Stories. “Unfortunately, motorcycles can give us everything, at any time. A very big hug to the family."

Related: Willie Mays, Baseball Legend and Hall of Famer, Dead at 93

Somaschini made his debut in competitive racing in April, according to La Nacion.

Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from celebrity news to compelling human interest stories.

In April, Somaschini told the Argentinian newspaper La Capital his father Alfredo first introduced him to motorbikes with on a ride on his grandfather's motorcycle when he was about 3 years old.

"I loved it," the young rider told La Capital, according to a translation. "I don't know how to explain it. I liked it a lot and well...I started to be fascinated by motorcycles."

Related: Late Tim Wakefield Honored at Celtics NBA Championship Game as His Teen Daughter Accepts on His Behalf

After falling in love with racing, Somaschini turned his sights on competing in the Motorcycle World Championship, the highest field of competition in the sport of motorbike.

The Argentinian newspaper described Somaschini as a confident young racer with an “innocent smile and tiny stature.” Nicknamed “Lolo,” the outlet reported that when he debuted in competitive racing earlier this year, he “surprised everyone.”

“Many did not hesitate to classify him as a child prodigy,” the newspaper reported, according to a translation. “In a couple of sessions he showed great potential and talent.”

Somaschini is survived by his parents Alfredo and Carolina Somaschini, and sister Juana.

For more People news, make sure to sign up for our newsletter!

Read the original article on People.

Advertisement