On July 4, 2011 motocross racer Josh Licthle passed away due to a heat stroke that he sustained while competing in the first moto heat of the RedBud National AMA Lucas Oil Motocross Championship.
Saturday’s race at RedBud marked the one-year anniversary of his death and the motocross community paid tribute to the fallen rider. At 23, Lichtle was a decorated amateur champion, winning 27 national amateur championships racing for some of the top teams in the industry.
The family released a statement on Facebook, writing, “Josh left a mark on the sport of motocross– he was an example on how to live. His legend will live on forever as one of the fastest coolest guys to be around. Although he is gone he is still here motivating people to be better, stronger, faster and to love the people around them.”
Licthle collapsed on his final lap due to 90-degree weather, raising questions as to whether contest organizers should have reduced the number of laps knowing the risk of de-hydration and heat stroke. This year’s race at RedBud featured a number of cautionary measures including an emphasis on heat stress in their riders’ meetings and added water depots around the track to help riders cool off.
These measures are nothing new. However, because of Licthle’s death last year, there was an emphasis on safety in the similar conditions at the racetrack. As of yet, there have been no heat related injuries reported at this year’s race at RedBud.
Here’s a look back at a video from FuelTV abort Josh Lichtle.