The Malaysian Grand Prix has ended in tragedy after Marco Simoncelli was killed in a horrific accident on the second lap of the race. The San Carlo Gresini rider lost the front end of his Honda going through turn 11 on the second lap with the rider and bike sliding back into the path of oncoming traffic.
Alvaro Bautista, the man immediately behind, made it through but Colin Edwards and Valentino Rossi were unable to miss the stricken rider with the impact causing Simoncelli’s crash helmet to come off. The American is believed to have dislocated his shoulder but the BBC reported Simoncelli to be in a critical condition in the medical centre immediately after the accident.
The race was originally scheduled to restart at 16:45 local time but the decision was taken ten minutes prior to that point that the race had to be cancelled with the entire medical centre staff focused on treating Marco Simoncelli. Race direction adding that “track action cannot be resumed in the current circumstances.”
Around half an hour after the cancellation, race direction confirmed the news that Simoncelli had succumbed to his injuries at 16:56 local time.
Marco entered the Grand Prix paddock in 2002, taking his first 125cc pole position and victory in Spain at just the 24th attempt. In 2006, he graduated to the 250cc class and claimed 12 victories, culminating in the 2008 title with Metis Gilera.
Simoncelli continued to impress in the premier class, taking his maiden MotoGP pole at Barcelona this year and achieving his first podium at Brno. With a factory Honda contract signed for 2012, Simoncelli’s career was set go from strength to strength and the motorsport world is devastated to see it end in these circumstances.
Simoncelli will be remembered for his entertaining and flamboyant style on and off the track and our thoughts are with his family and friends.
Marco Simoncelli 1987 – 2011