Marco Simoncelli's death hits MotoGP riders, fans hard
The MotoGP community is reeling from the death of rising star Marco Simoncelli, nicknamed "Super Sic," in the Malaysian MotoGP in Sepang on Sunday. He was 24.
Simoncelli lost control of his Honda four minutes into the race, eventually swerving into the path of Colin Edwards of the U.S. and Valentino Rossi of Italy. Simoncelli's helmet came off and he lay motionless after the collision.
Soon after the accient, Rossi posted on Twitter: "Sic for me was like a youngest brother.so strong on track and so sweet in the normal life.I will miss him a lot."
Many other fellow riders have posted responses to Simoncelli's death on Twitter as well:
Sometimes life just don't make sense... RIP #58 you were a star on & off track we all going to miss you. — Nicky Hayden
I don’t know what to say on a day like today ... Only that you will be missed - rest in peace Marco. — Jorge Lorenzo;
Terrible news. Marco’s gone. Sad day for motor racing and all the llives he touched along the way. Won’t forget you, mate. — Damian Cudlin
Marco was a strong rider and he always pushed hard. We raced together since we were kids, I saw him always pushing to the maximum, he crashed many times, but without major injuries, he seemed invincible. What happened today seems impossible. — fellow Italian Honda rider Andrea Dovizioso.
When things like this happen. there's little to say, nothing else matters. These are things that shouldn't happen. But this is the sport and sometimes we forget how dangerous our sport is. Simoncelli was a very strong racer. — Spanish rider Dani Pedrosa
Marco, we met you in July at Laguna Seca when we were on our honeymoon. We were in the paddocks on the Friday and asked you for a picture and you said you would come back in a few minutes- you kept that promise. We queued to meet you after the race on the Sunday and you said you would wait to sign an autograph for everyone- you kept that promise also. You truly were a gentleman and a very talented rider. We pray for your family, friends and fellow fans at this difficuly time. RIP #58 — a post on MotoGP's tribute site, which runs 75 pages and counting.
A moment of silence was held for Simoncelli during a memorial service Sunday for IndyCar racer Dan Wheldon, who died in a crash a week earlier. There was also a minute's silence before all soccer matches in Italy, where the players wore black armbands.
"Today is one of the saddest days of my presidency," said Gianni Petrucci, president of Italian sport's governing body CONI. "The tragic death of Marco Simoncelli has deeply upset and shaken me.
"Life is sacred and you can't die at the age of 24 for a race."
There is a certain quote from Simoncelli that people are posting all over the web. Not sure what the original source was, but it seems to be bringing comfort to a lot of people.
When asked if he was afraid of dying in an accident, Simoncelli apparently responded: "No. You live more for five minutes going fast on a bike like that, than other people do in all of their life."
— Chuck Schilken
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Photo: Fans of Italian motorcycle rider Marco Simoncelli deposit bouquets of flowers in a square in Cattolica, Italy. Credit: Pasquale Bove / EPA