As we all know, motorcycle riding and racing are inherently dangerous pursuits, and on Sunday, that knowledge was brutally underlined as San Carlo Honda Grisini rider Marco Simoncelli was killed instantly in an accident during the second lap on Malaysia’s Sepang circuit during a MotoGP race.
Simoncelli had been involved in competitive racing for more than ten years and began racing a minibike in 2000. Simoncelli quickly moved on from there to excel in the 125cc and 250cc classes before joining the premier level of MotoGP in 2010.
Last year’s championship winner, Jorge Lorenzo, missed the race due to surgery on his finger but Lorenzo paid tribute to Simoncelli, saying, “I don’t know what to say on a day like today. Only that you will be missed – rest in peace Marco.”
“Marco lost the front end and attempted to save the crash, but unfortunately the inertia of the bike took him onto the inside of the corner just when Edwards and Valentino were passing,” said Jorge Martinez, a former rider and now owner of the Aspar Racing Team. “There was nothing that they could do to avoid him. Today is a tremendously sad day for the entire paddock and for those who love motorcycle racing.”
“All I can say is how sorry I am for Marco’s whole family. I can’t imagine what they are all going through and our thoughts and wishes are with them at this time. I hope they all stay close and pull through this tragedy together,”
said this year’s MotoGP champion, Casey Stoner. “I’m so shocked and saddened by the loss of Marco. When things like this happen it reminds you how precious life is, it makes me feel sick inside.”
Simoncelli’s death is the first fatality in MotoGP since Japan’s Daijiro Katoh died from injuries he sustained at the 2003 Japanese GP. Simoncelli’s death comes only a week after British IndyCar driver Dan Wheldon was killed in Las Vegas following a 15-car pileup.
“Marco lost his helmet in the crash. The officials said that, when the track medics got to him, he was in cardiac arrest. They tried to resuscitate him in the ambulance and the medical center,” said BBC MotoGP television host, Matt Roberts. “Both riders collided with him and the impact corresponded to him losing his helmet. The saddest thing is that Valentino and Marco were very close friends.”
Rossi was overcome with grief after the accident and spoke of retiring from the sport…
Marco Simoncelli’s Career Race Results