Marco Simoncelli dies in the Malaysian Grand Prix

Article by Christian Andrei, on October 23, 2011

Honestly to tell you I am not a huge fan of motorcycles but even I heard of Marco Simoncelli, a great Italian motorcyclist. It appears that this was his last day as Simoncelli passed away due to a crash on the second lap of the Malaysian Grand Prix. According to sources, Marco Simoncelli was fighting for the fourth place with Alvaro Bautista when he lost control of this bike and slid across the circuit, into the the path of Colin Edwards and Valentino Rossi, both of whom then hit the Honda.

Simoncelli lost his helmet during the accident, he was taken by ambulance to circuit’s medical centre but later at 4.56pm local time his death was announced. It seems that it was the first death in Moto GP since Daijiro Katoh, who died back in 2003 in the Japanese Grand Prix. Daijiro Katoh was competing for Gresini Honda team, same team as Simoncelli.

The Italian driver, who was 24 years old, became one of the most exciting new stars in MotoGP this season and this was just the second year at the the top level with the Gresini Honda team. Still, death came too soon for Simoncelli as this motorcyclist had more to show to us and the entire world… R.I.P.! [source: Autosport]

Born in Cattolica, Italy, Marco Simoncelli grew up in Coriano with his family and commenced racing mini-bikes by time he reached the age of seven. By the age of nine, Simoncelli has already progressed to the Italian Minimoto Championship in 1996 and he later grabbed the crown in 1999 and 2000. Simoncelli was also a runner-up in the 2000 European Minimoto Championship.

In 2001, Simoncelli moved to the Italian 125cc Championship, and secured the title in his first year. The next year, he took part in the European 125cc Championship and won the title. In August 2002, Simoncelli became a member of the Matteoni Racing team to secure his first Grand Prix appearance. Riding an Aprilia bike #37, Simoncelli had his first Grand Prix race at Brno, Czech Republic, which saw him finishing in 27th place. On the following race at Estoril, he finished 13th, allowing him to secure his first championship points.

After six races, Simoncelli finished the season with three points. Simoncelli finally experienced his full Grand Prix season in 2003, still with the Matteoni Racing Team but now donning the number 58. This time, Simoncelli was able to secure points in six races, and even took fourth place at the last race of the season in Valencia, Spain. At the end of the 2003 season, Simoncelli secured 31 points and ranked 21st overall.

In the next season, Simoncelli transferred to the WorldwideRace team that also runs with an Aprilia bike. The 2004 season was quite fruitful for Simoncelli. During the second race of the season in Jerez, Spain saw Simoncelli grabbing his first pole position and first Grand Prix victory.

However, his first place came with the help of a crash incident involving the erstwhile race leader Casey Stoner. He also managed to score more points in seven other races. He finished the 2004 season with 79 points, which is good for 11th place overall.

Topics: motogp

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