Marco Simoncelli, an Italian Grand Prix motorcycle racer, died in an accident during the 2011 Malaysian GP on Oct. 23. The accident, which involved Colin Edwards and Valentino Rossi, happened on turn 11 when the Honda rider's bike swerved uncontrollably into the paths of Rossi and Edwards.
So who was Marco Simoncelli? Let's have a look at his career.
Simoncelli was a high ranking rider of the Italian Minimoto Championship from 1996 to 2000 and moved to the 125cc Championships after claiming two back-to-back titles. He then took the European 125cc title in 2002 and experienced Grand Prix racing the same year.
He undertook his first full season in the World Championship with the Matteoni Racing team and moved to the Rauch Bravo team in 2004, scoring his first Grand Prix win at Jerez. However, he only managed an eleventh-placed finish in the season's Championship race.
Simoncelli achieved his first race victories in the 250cc class in 2008. He scored his fifth win of the year at Phillip Island, Australia, early in October, clinching the title with a third place at Malaysia, at the penultimate round of the year.
On June 25, 2009, Simoncelli confirmed his stay at the top level during the 2010 MotoGP championship, where he agreed to ride with the San Carlo Gresini Honda team.
In 2011, Simoncelli was thought to be the surprise package of the season and finished fifth in the season-opening race in Qatar. During the French Grand Prix at Le Mans, Simoncelli bumped into Dani Pedrosa when they were battling for second place. The outcome of the crash saw Pedrosa break his collarbone and Simoncelli received a ride-through penalty, eventually finishing fifth.