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Mar 15, 2009

R.I.P. WSMC Racer Pancho Spain

Pancho Spain, the Willow Springs Motorcycle Club Top Rookie Expert in 2008, died Sunday in a crash at Willow Springs International Raceway, officials said.

Spain, 54, of San Pedro, California, was nursing an injured leg on Sunday, but still had finished second in the Middleweight Twins race aboard his Suzuki SV650. Spain then jumped onto his GSX-R1000 for the Formula 50 race that immediately followed.

Entering high-speed Turn Eight in a blustery crosswind, Spain lost the front end and crashed at more than 100 mph, witnesses told track officials. When emergency crews reached Spain, he was unresponsive, track officials said.

Lt. J.R. Rodriguez of the Kern County Sheriff's Department said the crash occurred just after noon. Rescue workers immediately started efforts to resuscitate Spain, and continued during his transport to Antelope Valley Hospital, where he was pronounced dead, Rodriguez said.

No other details were immediately available.