A week after the tragic death of IndyCar driver Dan Wheldon, comes another fatality for the motor sport industry when 24 year-old MotoGP racer Marco Simoncelli was killed on the second lap of the Malaysian Grand Prix in Sepang on Sunday.
The young Italian, racing for the San Carlo Gresini Honda team, lost control of his bike at the start of the second lap when his front tyre lost grip and his bike fell causing him to skate to the left. When the front tyre gripped again, Simoncelli swerved into the path of Valentino Rossi and Colin Edwards who couldn’t escape a collision. Simoncelli, who lost his helmet at 150mph during the crash, lay motionless on the track.
Half an hour after the race was stopped in was announced that Simoncelli’s injuries were too severe and he had died with reported tyre marks on his neck. Fortunately Edwards had suffered only a dislocated shoulder while Rossi escaped uninjured and returned to the pit.
In a statement, medical director Michele Macchiagodena revealed that Simoncelli “suffered a very serious trauma to the head, to the neck and the chest and suffered from cardiac arrest in the ambulance.”
Simoncelli’s death was the first fatality in MotoGP since Japan’s Daijiro Katoh died at the 2003 Japanese Grand Prix.
Image source: BBC Sport