MotoGP rider Marco Simoncelli was laid to rest today in his hometown of Coriano, Italy. His funeral was held in the Santa Maria Assunta Church at 3 p.m. Simoncelli died at the Sepang GP in Malaysia when he lost control of his Gresini Honda and was struck by the bikes of Colin Edwards and Valentino Rossi.
“I was impressed by the courage of Marco’s family, and especially the strength of his father, Paolo, who was able to transmit his strength and energy to others,” said CEO of Dorna Sports, Carmelo Ezpeleta. “It has been extraordinary to see the MotoGP family come together for Marco Simoncelli. Despite the unfortunate loss, the tribute makes clear the immense affection that people had for him. We will never forget Marco.”
Back in his native Italy, Super Sic was mourned Wednesday by thousands of family and fans during a wake held at the Municipal Theater. Members of the San Carlo Gresini Honda team carried the coffin into the church. Large-screen televisions broadcast the funeral service outside the church as well as at the Misano circuit where fans and friends could gather to pay their respects.
“What I experienced this afternoon in Coriano was very moving. After seeing the turnout of citizens, fans and the whole paddock there is no doubt that a great rider and a brilliant person has left us. The outpouring of affection that has been shown demonstrates that he has left his mark,” continued Ezpeleta.
The beloved rider was a national figure and was visited by many of his racing compadres including close friend Rossi, Loris Capirossi, Hiroshi Aoyama, Andrea Dovizioso, Mattia Pasini, Raffaele de Rosa, Marco Melandri, Jorge Lorenzo and legend Giacomo Agostini. The theater’s doors were held open into the early morning hours to accommodate the large wave of supporters. During the viewing, Simoncelli’s Gresini Honda RC212V was on display behind his casket along with the Gilera bike that carried the 24-year-old to a 250GP title in 2008.