If you're going to lose a Mario Kart race, the ideal way to do it is to lose BADLY. Get totally blown out of the water - last place the whole race, so that your hopes are never even able to be dashed.
The worst way of losing a Mario Kart race is this: you're winning the whole time, but then - at the very end - you're pummeled by a million different things, all at once, and somehow end up in last place. By no real fault of your own, the tables have been completely turned on you.
That kind of thing inspires the Death Stare Luigi in all of us.