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.
After the funeral of Marco Simoncelli at Coriano in Italy today, the Gresini press office issued the following press release:
DIOBÒ QUANTA GENTE!
Aprilia has finally confirmed that it will be running Eugene Laverty alongside Max Biaggi in the factory Aprilia WSBK team. Aprilia had already announced that the Irishman had been signed by the factory and would be racing a factory RSV4, but they had not yet announced whether Laverty would be riding in the factory squad, in a separate factory-backed outfit, or with the Pata Aprilia team.
The 2012 motorcycle racing season is well past halfway, but there's still plenty of racing to be done. Planning your visits to the last races of the season is one reason to buy the MotoMatters.com 2012 Motorcycle Racing Calendar, but there are two more and even better reasons: The first is simply that it is an object of great beauty, featuring many of Scott Jones' breathtaking photos from the 2011 MotoGP and World Superbike seasons.
After two days of tests in Barcelona, Marc Marquez has been released from hospital. The Spaniard had entered the USP Institut Dexeus hospital on his return from Sepang, where he had suffered shoulder injuries and a concussion during the first session of free practice. Though Marquez was well enough to be sent home, he is still suffering with double vision, and is in doubt for the Valencia round in 10 days' time.
Colorful, controversial, but above all, fast. That was Marco Simoncelli in a nutshell. No tribute to the man here, so many others have done it, and far better than I ever could. I recommend reading Kevin Schwantz' thoughts on Simoncelli over on the excellent Superbikeplanet site, and in Spanish, a touching story by Spanish TV editor and one of the nicest people in the paddock, Ruben Fernandez.
Amidst the outpouring of grief at the death of Marco Simoncelli, there was also concern at the fate of Colin Edwards and Valentino Rossi. Edwards and Rossi had been following right behind Simoncelli when the Italian lost control of his Honda and then careened in front of them, giving neither man any chance to avoid the collision that would prove fatal to Simoncelli. Edwards suffered a dislocated shoulder in the crash, and was flown home to Texas to receive further treatment for the injury.
Valentino Rossi is not set to retire, the Italian's manager, Davide Brivio confirmed on Twitter on Monday morning. In the aftermath of the crash that saw Marco Simoncelli killed, struck by both Colin Edwards and Valentino Rossi after being dragged across the track by his bike, rumors and speculation surged across the internet that the nine-time World Champion would hang up his helmet, upset at the death of his close friend Simoncelli.
Press releases from the MotoGP teams after Sunday's tragic events at Sepang. All short, all to the point, all mourning the death of a much-loved figure in the paddock, Marco Simoncelli:
Gresini Racing Press Office
GP of MALAYSIA - Race - 23/10/2011
CIAO "SUPER SIC"
Toni Elias, Lucio Cecchinello and the whole LCR Honda MotoGP Team thoughts go to Marco Simoncelli's family, friends and the whole Gresini Racing Team in this tragic moment.
MotoGP Race Direction issued the following statement after the death of Marco Simoncelli at Sepang:
2011 FIM Road Racing World Championship Grand Prix
Shell Advance Malaysian Motorcycle Grand Prix 2011:
Declaration of the Race Direction
Dorna has announced that Marco Simoncelli died as a result of injuries received in a crash during the MotoGP race at Sepang. On the second lap of the race, in dry conditions, Simoncelli's rear tire broke loose at Turn 11, then gripped, sending Simoncelli and his bike across the track into the path of another rider. Simoncelli was struck, losing his helmet in the impact, and the race was red-flagged. Simoncelli was transported to the medical center, but died from the injuries sustained in the crash at 16:56 local time.
The MotoGP race at Sepang has been canceled, after a horrific crash on lap 2 saw Marco Simoncelli very seriously injured. Simoncelli lost the rear of his Honda RC212V at Turn 11, and he and his bike were struck by Colin Edwards as he followed the Italian. The blow was forceful enough that it knocked Simoncelli's helmet from his head. The race was immediately red-flagged, and Simoncelli was transported to the medical center.
Results and summary of the Moto2 race at Sepang:
Thomas Luthi has taken his first victory since leaving the 125cc class in a close duel with Stefan Bradl which ended when the race was red-flagged. With Marquez ruled out of the race by the doctors, Bradl has taken a lead of 23 points in the championship, and goes into Valencia needing just 3 points to become champion.
Results and summary of the 125cc race at Sepang:
Maverick Vinales has won a tense and draining battle at Sepang to take victory ahead of Sandro Cortese and Johann Zarco. Zarco's podium, finishing ahead of Nico Terol, means the championship fight will go down to the wire, with Terol leading by 20 points.