Tommy Aquino died on Sunday in a motocross training accident in his hometown of Santa Clarita, CA. He was riding with some of his family and friends, getting prepared for the 2014 British Superbike class. Details have not been released, but there was a severe accident of some sort that led to his death.
Aquino had been racing for Brent Gladwin’s WD40 Pirelli National Superstock 1000 team. Racing since he was young, Tommy Aquino had been rising in the ranks of the National Superstock racing championships, finishing seventh overall last year and getting a key win at Cadwell Park.
Most of Aquino’s career was spent racing in the AMA Pro Daytona Sportbike Championship. He did well enough to earn a sponsorship with the WD40 team and a chance to race on one of the world’s biggest stages in the British Superbike class. His team confirmed his death in an official statement.
“It is with massive regret that we confirm the extremely sad passing of our friend and rider Tommy Aquino. Tommy was a great asset to our Team and a welcome addition to my family. Tommy was enjoying a day with his father ‘Tom’ and friend and became involved in a freak accident. The thoughts of all our Team members, sponsors and friends are with Tom, Carrie and Michael as this tragic loss is shared. This evening there are many wonderful pictures of Tommy being posted by many of his friends and fans for everyone to share.”
A video from 2009 shows Tommy Aquino was a young man who enjoyed racing and loved the thrill. He was being interviewed after crashing and losing the lead in a race.
Loved by the motocross community, friends and fans reached out to his family through Twitter.
Sad to hear British superstock Tommy Aquino passed away yesterday. RIP Tommy pic.twitter.com/SeH43Az09E
— Tom Wood (@tomwoodracing) February 3, 2014
Murió Tommy Aquino en accidente de Motocross pic.twitter.com/tlacNzndaw
— Irina Tortosa (@Irina_tortosa) February 3, 2014
Very sad about Tommy Aquino. Another exciting talent taken far too soon and yet another example of the bravery these lads possess. RIP
— Barry Vallely (@BarryBadKnees) February 3, 2014
British Superbike race director Stuart Higgs passed along his condolences to the Aquino family as well.
“I am deeply shocked and saddened by the news which broke yesterday evening and can scarcely believe it. As recently as Saturday we were speaking with Tommy, finalising plans to announce his ascendency to the British Superbike class this year with Team WD-40, with a team launch planned in London. In a short space of time Tommy had made a great impression on our Championship, with podium finishes and a win in his first season in UK competition, ambitions for the future were high and we were looking forward to his Superbike debut with great anticipation.”
Tommy Aquino died doing what he loved most, surrounded by friends and family. He is survived by his parents Tom and Carrie and his brother Michael.