October 24, 2011 - Marco Simoncelli (24, Italy), a rider for Team San Carlo Honda Gresini in the MotoGP class of the FIM Road Racing World Championship Series, overturned on the second lap while riding in fourth position at the 17th Malaysian Grand Prix final on October 23, 2011. After his collision with pursuing racers, Simoncelli was taken immediately to the circuit’s medical center where he was administered life-saving measures. Unfortunately, he passed away at 16:56 local time on the same day.
* Announced by MotoGP Race Direction on October 23.
Marco Simoncelli was active in the Italian Minimoto Championship from 1996 to 2000, taking the championship two years in a row. He competed in the 125cc class Italian championship of the Honda Trophy in 2001, and then captured the European 125cc title and made his debut in the Road Racing World Championship Series in 2002. Following his first full season in the World Championship in 2003, Simoncelli moved up to fifth place overall in the 125cc division in 2005 and then graduated to the 250cc division in 2006. He took the 250cc title in 2008 and started competing in the premier MotoGP class in 2010. This season, Simoncelli earned the pole position on two occasions, placed third in the 11th Czech Republic Grand Prix, and raced to second at the Australian Grand Prix, the previous race before the Malaysian Grand Prix. These two podium finishes made him a rising star among riders.
We extend our deepest sympathies. May he rest in peace.
Remarks of Takanobu Ito, President and CEO of Honda Motor Co., Ltd.
“Marco Simoncelli was a passionate rider bubbling over with a challenging spirit and blessed with a cheerful personality. With a promising future on the Grand Prix circuit, Marco had both genuine ability and a large following among racing fans. We are very thankful for his sterling results riding for Honda Racing Corporation as a factory rider. We express our heartfelt condolences to Marco’s family.”