Arrivederci, Simoncelli

    This past weekend, San Carlo Honda Gresini Moto GP rider Marco Simoncelli was involved in a three-rider crash in the first few laps of the Malaysian Grand Prix. Marco went down in front of fellow riders Valentino Rossi and Colin Edwards. Edwards could not avoid the crash and collided with Simoncelli, pushing the trapped Simoncelli into Rossi’s path. Rossi hit Simoncelli but managed to stay on his bike, while Edwards managed to walk away with only a dislocated shoulder.

    Simoncelli did not get up. As the red flag waved, announcers reassured onlookers not to jump to conclusions as

    Simoncelli lay on the track, and the cameras focused on the riders and the confusion in the pit lane.

    Rushed to the hospital, Simoncelli was pronounced dead after 45 minutes of CPR failed to revive him due to head, neck and chest injuries sustained in the crash.

    This comes after Simoncelli’s best outcome in his burgeoning GP career — a second place to Casey Stoner at Phillip Island and a remarkable pass in the last lap of the Repsol Honda race.

    Simoncelli had a go big or go home attitude all year, crashing out of several races but placing over other MotoGP “aliens” like Doizioso and Rossi several times. Many believed he too would enter into this “alien” status in MotoGP, as he had two poles and two podiums this year — his rookie year — and was looking for another at Sepang. His pure speed and the maturity he was beginning to show for not only pushing, but knowing when to let others push themselves out of a race, promised potential.

    Andrea Dovizioso raced with Simoncelli since the two were young, and remembers his friend’s racing style. “I saw him always pushing to the maximum, he crashed many times, but without major injuries, he was seemed invincible,”
    Dovizioso said in a Honda Racing Corporation press release. “What happened today seems impossible.”

    Indeed, in the many crashes this year, the lanky Italian cut a comical scene; his long limbs splayed out as he tumbled to a stop and always hopped right back up. Irrascible and extremely aggressive, he was loved by his fans and often villainized by those he crossed. But everyone respected him and his immense talent.

    The Italian rider was a precocious rising star and our prayers go out to his family and those closest to him.

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