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Discussion in 'Racing' started by Brodovitch, Sep 7, 2012.
oH SHIT I just heard via FB... oh man, one of my Heros..
Man this is really shocking news.
Kemal was the definition of Camel hard man, I always saw him as indestructible. In every picture and video I have seen of him he has a smile on his face. I never met him, but followed him avidly for years. I'm going to miss him.
Poor Wouter, to go so young is equally shocking.
Condolences to both families and friends.
The incident just highlights how dangerous riding fast in the dust really is.
not only was he a Malles Moto stud... he also was an avid long distance runner and MTBer
so sorry to hear this bad news..
We lost our true hero.
Rest in peace.
I just posted this on my blog, a bit of my tribute to a real sportsman.
Rest in Peace Desert Tiger
Kemal Merkit 06/07/1960 - 09/07/2012
It is devastating to report that today the rally world lost a true hero, a true sportsman. Turkish rider, Kemal Merkit, the Desert Tiger, rider, runner, cyclist, all around positive influence for all whose lives his presence touched, was killed doing what his fans may like to think he loved best, on a bike, in a rally stage. The discipline is a cruel one and sadly, Kemal joins many of the greats that gave everything for a sport so loved, so revered, so feared. Sainct, Meoni, Caldecott, the list goes on, hauntingly now appended with Merkit.
The details are emerging, but on stage 6 of the TransAnatolia Rally, Kemal and Italian rider Mirco Miotto slowed to check on their navigation when they were hit from behind by young Dutch rider Wouter Vaarkamp, who emerged from the dust without time to react. Sadly, Vaarkamp was also pronounced dead at the scene. Miotto received minor injuries and has been treated.
While I was familiar with Kemal from his earlier Dakars, he really came to my attention before the 2007 edition through the postings of a friend of his on ADVrider. Kemal became a defacto inmate, one of the riders we virtually supported year after year. His enthusiasm for racing was infectious to those of us who became his fans, an enthusiasm that never wavered and never diminished.
Unstoppable is a word that comes to mind and I challenge anyone to find a photo or a video clip where his is not smiling. Choosing to take on the toughest rallies in the toughest way possible, Kemal was the embodiment of a sportsman. I never heard a single story from anyone, that portrayed him in any other way than a helpful, enthusiastic racer, eager to help anyone and share the delight he derived from his passions.
I never had the privilege of meeting Kemal in person, but early on I became a fan and my admiration for his feats never faltered. From RallyRaidReview, only the deepest of condolences for his family, his loved ones, and his legions of rally fans. Rest in peace Desert Tiger, you will always be, one of the greats.
EDIT: EMBEDDING DISABLED, PHOTO OF THE ACCIDENT SCENE.
Damn, so sad. A photo like that is REALLY hard to look at!
The really sad part for me is that I know how to signficantly reduce the chances of this type of accident happening. This will give me extra motivation to get the project done!
It is impossible to believe he passed away, i still don't want to. I was lucky enough to meet him and listen his stories. He was role model in every aspect. RIP Kemal Merkit be the angels with you, and RIP Wouter Vaarkamp. Condolences to both family and friends....
He was one my best friends, a real sportsman and a great rider. I'm shocked with the news of this morning and still want to believe it is a very bad joke.
Doyle, I am the one who bring Kemal's adventures to ADV forums years ago. Thank you from my very bottom of my heart for your blog and posting here which translate of my inner voice into words. Regards.
I'm sorry for you loss, Donald.
Thank you for introducing this community to Kemal all those years ago. It was an honor to follow him in his endeavours.
I only knew him from his Dakar threads and admired his sportmanship and courage.
Great loss for the sport
Like many of you said before, my first thought this morning was that you never saw Kemal without a smile on his face. I'm sorry I never met this man.
Godspeed, Kemal and Güle Güle.
Shocking news!!Really sad news. I had the chance to meet him on the field and see him set up a tent after a long stage. This guy was the King of the Malle Moto.
Our condolonces to his family.
Kemal the Desert Tiger...
He is eagle of the sky now...
Thoughts and prayers to the riders and their families - RIP both of you.
Yes, you are to whom I was referring but I wasn't sure if you would want me to mention you specifically. Thanks for introducing him to us virtually those years ago.