Marco Simoncelli Dies in Sepang GP

October 23, 2011
Bart Madson
By Bart Madson
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Bashing away at the MotoUSA keyboard for nine years now, Madson lends his scribbling and editorial input on everything from bike reviews to industry analysis and motorcycle racing reports.

Gresini Honda’s Marco Simoncelli died from injuries sustained from a Lap 2 crash in the Sepang MotoGP race.

Marco Simoncelli died from crash injuries sustained in the Sepang MotoGP race. The Gresini Honda rider perished from severe head, neck and chest trauma after an on-track collision. The Sepang race was immediately red flagged after the fatal crash, and later cancelled.

The accident occurred on the second lap of the race. Simoncelli’s fatal injuries occurred when the former 250 champ was hit by trailing riders, Colin Edwards and Valentino Rossi.

After the collision, Simoncelli laid unconscious on the track, where medical personnel immediately started CPR. Transported to the medical center, the 24-year-old was intubated and CPR continued for 45 minutes. At 16:56 local time Simoncelli was declared dead.

Simoncelli was running in the top four after battlilng with Suzuki’s Alvaro Bautista when he lost control of his Honda RC212V. Onboard footage from Bautista’s bike shows Simoncelli lowsiding on Turn 11 and moving left off of the racing line. Bautista would pass by on the inside without incident, but instead of sliding off track Simoncelli stayed on board and veered back into the racing line where he collided with Edwards and Rossi. 

The force of the impact was such that Simoncelli’s helmet ripped off the Italian. Edwards also went down and dislocated his right shoulder in the crash. Although running off-track, Rossi was able to return to the pits, where the riders awaited word of their fallen comrade.

The 2011 season was Simoncelli’s second in the premier class. He scored a pair of podiums and pole positions this

Marco Simoncelli Memorial Gallery


season, with his second-place finish at Phillip Island the best result of his young MotoGP career. The 250 GP champion in 2008, Simoncelli won 12 races in the 250 ranks. He also won two races in 125 GP.

Simoncelli’s death is the last fatality in the premier Grand Prix class since Daijiro Kato died at Suzuka in 2003. Moto2 rider Shoya Tomizawa was killed at Misano in the 2010 championship.