Rene Hofer was buried under an avalanche on Saturday: he was on holiday with friends, two other runners also died: Michael Weissmann and Bastian Wolf
Rene Hofer is dead: the 19-year-old Austrian motocross rider was hit by an avalanche on Saturday afternoon in the district of Lungau, Austria. The young man was in the company of another ten friends, engaged in an off-piste when the snow mass overwhelmed them at an altitude of 2,400 meters. Eight were buried by a front of more than 4 meters of snow and three people did not make it: two were found already dead, one died after being transported to the hospital in Klagenfurt. The other two victims were also young Austrian riders: Michael Weissmann and Bastian Wolf.
Hofer, who would have turned 20 on 4 January, was a driver for Ktm with which he was crowned European champion in the 85 cc class in 2016. Stable rider of the world championship from the following year, starting from 125, he boasted a podium in the world championship standings of the minor class and this season 6th in the general classification of Mx2 after winning the Pietramurata Grand Prix (his first success, just 27 last October) and Garda. For him also the presence in the Motocross of Nations, where he brought Austria to 8th place overall.
In 2020 he escaped a bad accident during the Lithuanian Grand Prix when he suffered a bad fracture in his left arm just below the shoulder: transported from Riga to Wels, he had been operated for a long time and forced to retire from the season.
Rene first got on a dirt bike when he was just three and a half years old, taking part in his first races the following year. At the age of 5, he had hit a second place in the NÖ West Cup, winning the following year. At 7 he had been 2nd in the European MX Master Kids and at 8 he had won the MX Austria Cup.
Sunday morning KTM expressed its condolences: «Go in peace, little Rene. It is a tragedy for your family, for your Ktm family, and for the MXGP community. You will always be remembered as the happy boy you were. Rest in peace. Our condolences to all who loved you. Ride on, Rene, we will miss you immeasurably number 711.