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23 October 2011

MotoGP rider Marco Simoncelli succumbs to injuries in Malaysian GP crash

simoncelli_memorial02On lap two of the 2011 Malaysian GP, MotoGP rising star Marco Simoncelli met a fatal accident while battling with Alvaro Bautista for fourth position. Simoncelli lost control of his Gresini Honda and inevitably veered across the track at turn 11, straight into the path of Colin Edwards and Valentino Rossi. Both riders collided with Simoncelli, knocking his helmet off in the process. As Simoncelli lay motionless on the track, the race was immediately red-flagged.
Edwards likewise fell but escaped serious injury, while Rossi managed to stay on his bike and return to the pits. The 24-year old Italian rider was taken by ambulance to the Sepang circuit's medical center, but at 4:56 pm local time Simoncelli sadly succumbed to his injuries.
"As soon as I saw the footage it just makes you sick inside. Whenever the helmet comes off that's not a good sign,” commented MotoGP World Champion Casey Stoner.
Simoncelli's passing is MotoGP's first fatality since Daijiro Katoh's crash at the 2003 Japansese Grand Prix. The world championship series' last fatal accident, on the other hand, was in September 2008 when Moto2 rider Shoya Tomizawa crashed at Misano.  
A former 125cc and 250cc champion, Marco Simoncelli entered MotoGP in 2010 with the Gresini Honda team. Despite a slow start to his maiden season, he came back stronger in 2011, winning his first podium finish in the Brno, Czech Republic in August and a second place in Australia last week. 
We wish to extend our deepest condolences to Marco's family, friends, and the entire MotoGP community.