Sports Now

Sports news from Los Angeles and beyond

Category: MotoGP

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.

Photos: Marco Simoncelli crash

Soon after the accient, Rossi posted on Twitter: "Sic for me was like a youngest 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

Continue reading »

MotoGP rider Marco Simoncelli killed in Malaysian crash

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.

MarcoThe 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.

A week ago Indycar driver Dan Wheldon, a two-time winner of the Indianapolis 500, was killed in a 15-car crash at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Wheldon's funeral was Saturday in St. Petersburg, Fla.


Photos: Marco Simoncelli crash

— Jim Peltz

Photo: Italian rider Marco Simoncelli in August before the MotoGP race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Credit: Mirco Lazzari / Getty Images

MotoGP champ Valentino Rossi: 'The worst is past'


Valentino Rossi, the 31-year-old Italian many consider the greatest motorcycle racer in history, said Thursday that he's facing a "difficult" recovery after severely breaking his right leg but that "the worst is past."

Rossi suffered a compound fracture of the leg while practicing Saturday for the Italian Grand Prix at the Mugello circuit in central Italy, then had surgery in Florence to repair the damage. He was released from the hospital Thursday.

Known among his global following as "The Doctor" for the clinical way he's mastered racetracks over the years, Rossi has won the MotoGP world championship the last two years and a record seven times overall.

He's expected to be out at least several weeks if not the rest of the season, which means he likely would miss MotoGP's two U.S. stops, at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca near Monterey on July 25 and at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Aug. 29.

"The positive thing is that the worst is past and that the two operations went well, so everything is OK," Rossi said in a question-and-answer statement from his Yamaha team that was posted on

"Now I am expecting a difficult period, in which I have to be aware of the risk of infection and in which I must remain with the leg constantly elevated," he said. "Then there will come a second key period, when I will be able to start my rehabilitation and, with support on the leg, will be able to start to walk around with crutches."

Rossi also had been nursing an injured shoulder before the accident, and said both problems now would have time to heal properly.

"When I come back I will be in perfect shape," he said, but cautioned that "it won't mean that I can win straightaway. When you return after an enforced break you not only have to think about the body, but also the mind. I won't be able to come back and win immediately."

-- Jim Peltz

Photo: MotoGP champion Valentino Rossi as he left a hospital in Florence, Italy, on Thursday after surgery to repair his broken right leg. Credit: Maurizio Degl'Innocenti / European Pressphoto Agency

Valentino Rossi set to again defend MotoGP crown

Can “The Doctor” do it again?

Rossi2 Valentino Rossi, arguably the greatest motorcycle racer ever and dubbed “The Doctor” for the clinical way he goes about mastering a race track, again is looking to defend his championship in MotoGP, the series with a global following that is bike racing’s equivalent to auto racing’s Formula One series.

The 31-year-old Italian has won the title the last two years and has seven MotoGP championships overall – nine if one includes his titles in two of the sport’s second-tier series.

Rossi and the rest of the field open their season Sunday in the Persian Gulf nation of Qatar. The series’ 18-race season also includes two U.S. stops, at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca near Monterey on July 25 and at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Aug. 29.

Rossi faces plenty of competition this season from the likes of his Yamaha teammate Jorge Lorenzo, Australian Casey Stoner, Spain’s Dani Pedrosa and three American riders: Nicky Hayden, Colin Edwards and former AMA Superbike champion Ben Spies.

--Jim Peltz

Photo: Reigning MotoGP champion Valentino Rossi during a photo session Friday ahead of the series grand prix in Doha, Qatar. Credit: Mirco Lazzari / Getty Images


Recommended on Facebook


In Case You Missed It...


About the Reporters
Sports Now is written by the entire Sports department of the L.A. Times.

Tweets and retweets from L.A. Times staff writers.



Bleacher Report | Los Angeles

Reader contributions from Times partner Bleacher Report

More on Bleacher Report »

Get Alerts on Your Mobile Phone

Sign me up for the following lists: