The Brno circuit exceeded its usual track capacity by 21-fold this past weekend. The 3.36-mile circuit held 1349 riders, who showed up to pay tribute to the late Marco Simoncelli
, who perished at the Sepang circuit during last year’s Malaysian Grand Prix. Czech MotoGP
rider Karel Abraham and Moto3 competitor Jakub Kornfeil led the record-breaking caravan.
The Brno event was inspired by the Simoncelli tribute held at the Valencia finale in the fall of 2011. The Grand Prix paddock emptied at Valencia to follow 1993 World Champion Kevin Schwantz, who led riders on a tribute lap aboard Simoncelli’s Gresini Honda RC212V. The Brno memorial saw Abraham and Kornfeil lead fans who rode their street bikes and scooters on the Czech circuit. The group was large enough that Abraham and the leaders could see the end of the riding column as they completed the first lap.
“I think the outcome is amazing,” said Abraham. “This was one of the first opportunities for bikers to get together after winter. The Brno Circuit is one of the best venues for such purposes.”
Abraham’s fan club took charge of the event count, basing the 1349 total on the number of participant stickers handed out. Riders braved the weather to pay tribute, with temperatures in the 40s.
“I have to thank everyone. I am glad so many people came even though the weather was far from perfect,” said Brno’s Executive Director Ivana Ulmanova.