Marco Simoncelli was killed in a crash at the Malaysian Grand Prix on Sunday. He lost control of his bike on the second lap of the race at the Sepang International Circuit and was hit by Colin Edwards and then Valentino Rossi as he slid across the track.
With his head at track level, Simoncelli ploughed into the oncoming front tyres of racers Colin Edwards and Valentino Rossi. The 24-year-old's helmet came off in the collision and he was taken to the medical centre for treatment. However, treatment was in vain and he died from his injuries. According to official reports, Simoncelli suffered serious trauma to the head, neck and chest.
The organisers cancelled Sunday's race as soon as the extent of Simoncelli's injuries became apparent. The rising Italian speedster's death in a crash has sent shockwaves through the motorsports community, which is reeling from the death of IndyCar racer Dan Wheldon, who died last weekend at a race in Las Vegas.
Here is a video clip of the accident:
MotoGP star Valentino Rossi led the tributes for Simoncelli. On Twitter, close friend and seven-time world champion Rossi wrote: (Simoncelli) for me was like a youngest brother. So strong on track and so sweet in the normal life. I will miss him
In a tragedy like this there is not much to say. I just want to give my condolences to his family and all the people who love him, said Repsol Honda's Dani Pedrosa.
RIP Marco. A special talent that will be missed... Thinking of your loved ones and all the motogp paddock... Mark, said Formula 1 driver Mark Webber, on his Twitter page.
RIP Marco ... Such an exciting talent lost. My thoughts are with his family, friends and everyone involved in MotoGP. Motorsport can be so cruel... wrote another Formula 1 driver, Jenson Button, also on his Twitter wall.
Meanwhile Mokhzani Mahathir, Chairman of the Sepang circuit, has said the circuit administrators will take a hard look at safety, after the horrible incident. However, he added that the track (which is regarded as one of the trickier tracks to drive on) was not to blame in the tragedy. The circuit, situated outside Kuala Lumpur, is considered challenging due to the high heat, humidity, and frequent rain.
Yesterday's accident was beyond anybody's control or expectation, said Mahathir.
Simoncelli's death occurred on the same day as a memorial service in Indiana for Wheldon, a two-time Indianapolis 500 winner, who died of severe head injuries in a crash on Oct. 16.