Marco Simoncelli Dead After Horror Moto GP Crash
In sad news for the motorsport world, Italian MotoGP rider Marco Simoncelli has passed away after a crash at the Malaysian GP.
The crash which claimed the life of promising young rider Marco Simoncelli came just four minutes in to the Malaysian MotoGP.
Simoncelli was aged 24.
In the second lap of the race Simoncelli, who had been fourth placed at the time, lost control of his bike and veered across the track, immediately into the path of his fellow riders.
He was struck by Valentino Rossi and Colin Edwards. Edwards was thrown from his bike by the force of collision but escaped serious injury.
Simoncelli lost his helmet in the incident, and lay motionless on the track as medical staff rushed to his aid.
In the immediate aftermath of the incident Australian rider and 2011 champion Casey Stoner spoke of his concern for the rider.
“As soon as I saw the footage, it just makes you feel sick inside,” Stoner told BBC2 shortly after the incident.
After being rushed to hospital following the crash, he was listed as in critical condition in early media reports but a little over an hour later it was confirmed that he had passed away from his injuries.
The race was immediately red flagged, and later cancelled as a sign of respect for Simoncelli.
Marco Simoncelli was considered by many to be an up and coming rider in the motorcycle racing world. He was a favorite among fans for his unusual riding style, but this style often contributed to crashes on the track.
Just days before he had spoken with confidence about his chances of winning the races that would in the end claim his life. The Sepang circuit had been the same one in which he had secured his 250cc win in 2008.
After a slow start to the 2010 MotoGP season, his first, Simoncelli managed to a final rank of 8th, ahead of more experienced riders such as Edwards and Capirossi. Up until the Malaysian GP he had been ranked 6th in the 2011 MotoGP season, having reached a career high in the Australian GP, finishing second.
He had previously been the world 250cc Champion in 2008 and third placed rider in the following season, with 12 career wins from 64 starts in the format.
The crash was the first fatal incident in the MotoGP since 2003, when Daijiro Kato was killed following a collision with a wall at up to 120km/h.
Simoncelli’s death comes a week after the death of veteran racing driver Dan Wheldon in a 15-car pile up during the IndyCar World Championship.