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08 November 2011

Misano World Circuit renamed in memory of Marco Simoncelli

The 4.180-kilometer Misano World Circuit in Santamonica, Italy was completed in 1972 and has been host to Moto GP's San Marino Grand Prix since 2007. But beginning this month, the track will now be known as the Misano Simoncelli World Circuit, named after the late Italian Moto GP rider Marco Simoncelli.
Simoncelli was born and raised in Cattolica on the Adriatic coast of Italy, which is situated less than eight kilometers from the Misano World Circuit. Sadly, the young 24-year old lost his life in a tragic accident at the Malaysian Moto GP last October 23, 2011. The fallen Italian rider might not have passed away in Misano, but he considered the circuit as his home track. Thus, the circuit's Board of Directors voted unanimously to change the track's name as a tribute to Simoncelli.
"We owe it to the memory of Sic..." said circuit Vice President Luke Colaiacovo. “...his family, to the hundreds of thousands of fans who admired his courage and humanity, the many personalities from the sports world and media who support to this spontaneous and moving proposal.”
“We are happy and proud to associate the Misano circuit with Marco Simoncelli, a champion in sport and in life," he added. 
The Misano track also pays tribute to another Moto GP rider through an access point to the circuit built in 2005 named “Via Daijiro Kato” (Daijiro Kato Street) in honor of the Japanese rider who was killed in the 2003 Japanese Grand Prix. In a chilling coincidence, another Japanese rider, Shoya Tomizawa, had fallen victim to a fatal accident in Misano at the 2010 Moto 2 race, in a crash nearly identical to Simoncelli's.
The circuit's governing committee included in their official statement that it would not use Simoncelli's name for any commercial gains or activities.