Rory Partin's family said he died Sunday doing what he loved -- racing motorcycles.
Leading the first lap of the 600cc Superstock Novice race in Savannah, Ga., Mr. Partin lost control of his sport bike on the first turn in front of 20 other racers, according to RoadRacingWorld.com. The 30-year-old Martinez resident did not survive the injuries from the crash.
"He was a wonderful kid with a passion for racing motorcycles," said Mr. Partin's mother, Debbie Rearden. "He just had a passion for speed."
Though Mr. Partin grew up in North Augusta, he lived in Martinez for seven years, where he was the manager of an Enterprise rental car branch.
Mr. Partin started racing with Western Eastern Racing Association Motorcycle Roadracing in 2005, according to the Roadracing World Web site. He was ranked third in the points standing in the B Superstock Novice division.
A strong competitive nature fueled Mr. Partin's need to excel in racing, his longtime friend Marcoldin Rials said.
"If he was going to the gym, he had to get there first," Mr. Rials said. "He had to be the first one to the couch to grab the remote. He had to be the first one to the fridge to grab a beer.
"He had a lot of pride that he got from winning in no matter what it was. He loved the speed and the adrenaline rush."
Mr. Partin took up motorcycle riding many years ago, his mother said.
"Rory lived his whole life with a passion and doing what made him happy," she said. "He not only raced sports bikes, but he also rode dirt bikes on the weekends."
Area racers and Mr. Partin's friends have embraced Ms. Rearden during her time of bereavement, she said.
The closeness her son felt with other motorcycle enthusiasts was part of the draw for him to race, she said.
"He loved the camaraderie he had with the racing community," she said. "He was really well loved."
Mr. Rials echoed Ms. Rearden's sentiment.
"He was more than just a racer," he said. "He was loved by everyone who knew him."
A memorial service for Mr. Partin will be held at 6 p.m. today at Posey Funeral Home in North Augusta. A private family interment will be held later.
Memorials for Mr. Partin may be made to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105.
Reach Donnie Fetter at (706) 868-1222, ext. 115, or firstname.lastname@example.org.