Tragedy struck the racing world again Sunday when 24-year-old rider Marco Simoncelli died after crashing and then violently colliding with two other riders in the MotoGP motorcycle race in Malaysia.
The Italian rider struck American Colin Edwards and Italian Valentino Rossi on the second lap of the race at the Sepang circuit in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, which was immediately stopped and later canceled. It was the next-to-last race of the season.
MotoGP medical director Michele Macchiagodena told reporters that Simoncelli was taken to the track medical center with head, neck and chest injuries and died about 45 minutes later.
"I'm so shocked and saddened by the loss of Marco," said Casey Stoner, who recently clinched the series title. "When things like this happen it reminds you how precious life is."
Edwards suffered a dislocated shoulder in the crash but otherwise he and Rossi were not seriously injured, race officials said.
MotoGP is an international series featuring high-speed motorcycle racing. The series has two U.S. stops each year, at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, Calif.
— Jim Peltz
Photo: Italian rider Marco Simoncelli in August before the MotoGP race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Credit: Mirco Lazzari / Getty Images