SAO PAULO -- Brazilian motocross rider Swian Zanoni died after losing control of his motorcycle during the last lap of a weekend race. He was 23.
Zanoni apparently struck a tree Sunday in a race in the small city of Orizania, the Brazilian motorcycling confederation said. He sustained a severe neck injury while attempting to overtake another rider.
Zanoni competed in this year's FIM motocross world championships. He won more than 20 motocross and supercross titles in the Rio de Janeiro state and was runner-up in the Brazilian supercross championship in 2007 and 2008.
"This is a huge loss," said Roberto Boettcher, the confederation's vice president, said in a statement. "He was representing Brazil in the world's most important motocross championship. He was carrying the Brazilian flag."
Zanoni had just recovered from a broken right arm that kept him out of several races in the world championship. He rode for Honda in the MX2 class.