Two motorcycle racers died following a massive crash involving multiple riders at Laguna Seca on Sunday evening.

The crash took place just before 5pm, moments after the start of MotoAmerica Superbike/Superstock 1000 race at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.

It appeared that up to five bikes collided on the first lap, tossing riders into the dirt runoff to the right of the start/finish bridge.

According to a press release from MotoAmerica, 35-year-old Bernat Martinez of Alberic, Valencia, Spain was transported from the raceway by ambulance to Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula where he died from his injuries.

Daniel Rivas Fernandez, 27, of Moana Galicia, Spain, was taken by helicopter to Natividad Medical Center in Salinas where he died.

As medical personnel arrived on scene, one rider tried to sit up on his own, but was screaming in pain. Medics held him down in order to administer help.

A second injured rider tried to walk away from the scene, but began limping and was helped to the ground by medical personnel.

The race was the final one of the day and a support class for the larger World Superbike headlining race.

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MotoAmerica was formerly known as the American Motorcycle Association Superbike races, which typically ran before MotoGP races in previous years.

"I really don't have any words to describe what we all feel," said MotoAmerica president Wayne Rainey in a statement. "First and foremost, is the loss to the families and loved ones. Our sincere condolences goes out to each and every one of them as well as the MotoAmerica family. They are in our thoughts and prayers."

"We are deeply saddened to learn the news of the passing of Bernat Martinez and Daniel Rivas," added Gill Campbell, CEO and general manager of Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. "Our prayers and hearts go out to their families and teams."

Mark C. Anderson contributed to this report.

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