Kawasaki USA Racing Team Family Member passes away after battle with cancer
Karla Asch, age 15, daughter of Kawasaki Racing Team member Rick Asch,
passed away early Sunday after a long battle against cancer.
Rick Asch left the pit area at Angel Stadium early Saturday when he got
the call that his daughter’s condition worsened. The team was busy
readying for Saturday’s practice sessions in preparation for the
Anaheim III round of the AMA Supercross Series.
Earlier in the Supercross season, Karla’s health had improved enough
following treatment at Children’s Hospital in Los Angeles for her to
attend the opening round in Anaheim on January 7. She was in the
Kawasaki pit area with a brilliant smile and was excited to be there to
show support for her favorite riders, James Stewart and Michael Byrne.
She was also thrilled to be near her father who serves as the Engine
Development Technician for Kawasaki Racing Team.
However, the atmosphere this Saturday in the Kawasaki pit area was
somber, as Rick explained prior to leaving that Karla was not doing
well. Unfortunately, her condition never improved and she passed away
early Sunday morning. Karla had been battling an aggressive form of
cancer known as Brain Stem Glioma for more than a year. She also loved
the sport of Supercross and Motocross and she was extremely proud that
her father served on one of the top teams in the sport.
“I could tell by the look on Rick’s face when he got the phone call
that things were serious,” said Kawasaki Racing Team Manager Mike
Fisher. “Karla was an inspiration to all of us and my heart sank when I
heard the news. Although she is no longer with us, her spirit will
endure and will always be an important part of our family.”
“My heart goes out to Rick and his family,” said James Stewart. “Karla
was about the same age as Malcolm, I can’t imagine how tough this must
be. The Asch family gave Karla all of the love and support any family
could and then some. It’s a tragedy and I want to express my deepest
sympathy and respect to Rick and his family. I plan on honoring Karla
this weekend by running “For Karla” on my pants in her honor, and to
honor the family.”
“It’s really unfortunate,” said Michael Byrne. “Karla was a brilliant
light in Rick’s life and all our lives. Her strong will and
determination gave all of us hope and she will be missed terribly. She
will always be in my heart and in my prayers.”
As a memorial to Karla, Kawasaki Racing Team members will be wearing a
button on their team uniforms beginning at the next round of the AMA
Supercross Series at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego this coming Saturday.
If you’d like to share your condolences with the Asch Family, you may do so here.