Marco Simoncelli was finally laid to rest on Thursday, amidst a massive crowd who had come to pay their last respects. The funeral was a packed affair, full of the friends and family of the Italian, as well as a large number of people from the world of motorcycle racing. The service, held in the Santa Maria Assunta church in the small town of Coriano, not far from the Misano circuit, started at 3pm and was led by the Bishop of Rimini, Francesco Lambiasi, when Simoncelli's coffin was carried in by friends and members of his San Carlo Gresini team. It ended a little over an hour afterwards, as Simoncelli was taken from the church, to the strains of Italian pop legend Vasco Rossi singing "Siamo solo noi". His body was taken to Cesena, where he is due to be cremated.
Massive crowds lined the streets of Coriano, and watched the funeral on large screens set up outside the church. Simoncelli's coffin was accompanied by mass applause on its journey to and from the church, and balloons with the words "SIC" and his racing number, 58, were also released in tribute as he passed. Inside the church, Simoncelli's coffin was flanked on either side by the Gilera 250 RSA on which he won the 250 World Championship in 2008, and the Honda RC212V which he raced this year in MotoGP, and on which he achieved two pole positions and two podiums this season.
In addition to Simoncelli's father Paolo, his mother Rosella, his sister Martina and his girlfriend Kate, there were many people from the world of motorcycle racing. Fausto Gresini and the Gresini team members played a prominent role in the proceedings, but Simoncelli's friends Valentino Rossi and Mattia Pasini were also present, charged with wheeling Simoncelli's race bikes in and out of the church, along with riders including Jorge Lorenzo, Toni Elias, Simone Corsi, Raffaele de Rosa, Andrea Iannone, Loris Capirossi, and Andrea Dovizioso, among others. Former riders included Giacomo Agostini, Manuel Poggiali and Sete Gibernau, while senior HRC staff included Shuhei Nakamoto and Livio Suppo. A large delegation from Ducati was also present, with Vittoriano Guareschi, Filippo Preziosi and Claudio Domencali also attending the funeral. Dorna CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta and FIM President Vito Ippolito were also at Simoncelli's funeral.
The service was marked most of all by the courage and humanity shown by Simoncelli's family. Paolo, Simoncelli's father, was both gracious and generous to everyone who attended, and at the end of the service, his girlfriend Kate spoke a few simple words, saying that Marco had been "a perfect person, and that such a perfect person cannot live among ordinary mortals."
The Italian federation has submitted a request to the FIM to have Simoncelli's number 58 retired from racing, just as has been done with Daijiro Kato's 74 and Shoya Tomizawa's 48 in Moto2. A petition has also been started to have the Misano Adriatico circuit named after Marco Simoncelli, but the president of the circuit said it was too soon to be making decisions about the matter. A previous proposal to rename the track after Renzo Pasolini, the former 250cc rider who was killed at Monza in the same accident as Jarno Saarinen, was also rejected. Daijiro Kato has the entrance road leading to the circuit named after him, the Japanese rider having lived in the region at the time of his death.
A video summary of Simoncelli's funeral is available and free to view on the MotoGP.com website, and the entire funeral is also available on Youtube, uploaded by a fan.