Before motorsport enthusiasts could come to terms with the horrific 15-car wreck that claimed the life of Dan Wheldon at the IndyCar Series finale last Sunday, the tragic news of the death of Marco Simoncelli, an Italian Grand Prix motorcycle road racer, rocked the racing circuits.

Marco Simoncelli, 24, one of the top motocross riders in the world, was killed in a gruesome crash involving two fellow riders at a MotoGP race held at the Sepang International Circuit in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.


Honda MotoGP rider Marco Simoncelli of Italy is pictured in his box during the first free practice of the Catalunya MotoGP Grand Prix at the Montmelo race track, near Barcelona, June 3, 2011. REUTERS/Gustau Nacarino

In fourth position on lap two, Simoncelli's bike veered across the race path, his helmet came off and collided with Colin Edwards and Valentino Rossi, who were just behind him. Edwards skidded and fell but managed to rise. Rossi managed to retain his balance, though his bike was forced off the track. What we see next in the video is Simoncelli laying on the track motionless. Edwards sustained a dislocated shoulder.

The race was immediately red-flagged following the accident.

Simoncelli was taken by ambulance to the circuit's medical centre but at 16:56 local time it was announced that he had died from his injuries. Later, at a press conference involving members of the MotoGP Race Direction, Medical Director Michele Macchiagodena said that Simoncelli sustained a very serious trauma to the head, to the neck and the chest and was administered cardiopulmonary resuscitation for 45 minutes.

Watch Video: Marco Simoncelli Crash MotoGP Sepang 2011

Simoncelli, was regarded an aggressive rider who was involved in a collision just five months ago.

During the French Grand Prix at Le Mans, Simoncelli collided with Dani Pedrosa while they were battling for second. In the resulting crass, Pedrosa broke his collarbone and Simoncelli received a ride-through penalty, eventually finishing fifth. Simoncelli initially rejected blame for the crash, claiming he braked no later than normal, and that he left Pedrosa room. Before the next race, however, he accepted that he needed to reflect on his riding style.


Marco Simoncelli of Italy feeds an albino kangaroo at an animal park near Melbourne, ahead of this weekend's Australian Motocycle Grand Prix October 15, 2009. REUTERS



Honda MotoGP's Marco Simoncelli of Italy lies on the ground after a crash during the Malaysian Grand Prix in Sepang October 23, 2011. Italy's Marco Simoncelli has died on Sunday after a crash at the Malaysian MotoGP in Sepang, organisers said. He was 24. REUTERS/Stringer