Despite being treated to some truly outstanding displays of driving across a variety of championships in the last week, the world of motorsport has claimed another high-profile victim, with MotoGP rider Marco Simoncelli succumbing to injuries sustained at the Malaysian Grand Prix today. He was just 24 years old.
Widely regarded to be one of motorcycling’s up-and-coming prospects, the big-haired Italian fell from his bike on the second lap of the race at Sepang. He slid onto the circuit and into the path of the following Colin Edwards and multiple champion Valentino Rossi, who could do nothing to avoid him.
The race was immediately red-flagged, and Simoncelli was rushed to the circuit’s medical centre by ambulance, but it would prove to be in vain when his death was announced shortly afterwards.
His death is the first MotoGP fatality since the 2003 fatality of Daijiro Katoh – who, ironically, happened to ride for Simoncelli’s Gresini team – at the Japanese Grand Prix. The last fatality in the world championship series what that of fellow Japanese rider Showa Tomizawa, who died when he fell and was struck by a competitor during the Moto2 support race at Misano last September.
We extend our deepest condolences to Marco Simoncelli’s family and the entire MotoGP community.
[Images via LAT and MotoGP]