Marco Simoncelli was laid to rest today in Coriano, the village where he was born and lived.
He competed in the Road Racing World Championship for 10 years from 2002 to 2011. He started in the 125cc class before moving up to the 250cc class in 2006. He won the 250cc World Championship with Gilera in 2008. After four years in the intermediate class, he stepped up to the MotoGP class with theHonda Gresini Team. Simoncelli died after an accident during the 2011 Malaysian Grand Prix at Sepang on 23 October 2011. He was loved and respected by so many people.
Marco was witty, intelligent and charmingly funny, but also very polite, patient and gentle. Sometimes we worried that the full extent of his humour was lost in translation for non-Italian audiences but he had a range of smiles that seemed to convey his feelings, whether the joyful grin of a podium, the cheeky smile that came with a funny retort to a question, or the “next time” smile after the disappointment of a retirement or crash.
He was a normal guy being true to himself and doing something he was rather good at on the world stage. You really did get the impression he’d do it for a tenth of the money, so long as he was having a laugh and racing prototype bikes at 215mph every other Sunday. R.I.P Marco A special talent, a free spirit that will be missed.