Marco Simoncelli's family didn't have to mourn his death alone, as thousands of fans and friends gathered at the funeral to help bid the Italian MotoGP rider farewell.
Simoncelli died after a crash in which he fell off his motorcycle on lap two at the Sepang circuit race on Sunday during the Malaysian MotoGP. He was accidentally struck by two riders in the race.
A funeral service for Simoncelli was held at 3 p.m. Thursday at the Santa Maria Assunta church in Coriano, Italy. Coriano is Simoncelli's hometown and it is close to Riccione in the Italian province of Rimini.
According to MotoGP, Simoncelli's casket was carried by friends and members of the Gresini team. On display at the funeral was Simoncelli's Gilera bike -- the one on which he won the 2008 250cc World Championship title -- and the Honda RC212V on which he competed in the MotoGP class. They were placed on each side of the casket.
Marco Simoncelli's father Paolo, mother Rosella, sister Martina and girlfriend Kate attended the funeral. Fellow riders Valentino Rossi, Giacomo Agostini, Alex Criville, Simone Corsi, Yuki Takahashi, Raffaele de Rosa, Chaz Davies, Mattia Pasini, Manuel Poggiali, Jorge Lorenzo, Andrea Dovizioso, Randy de Puniet, Loris Capirossi, Toni Elias, Hiroshi Aoyama and Alex de Angelis were also in attendance, according to MotoGP.
Though reports were that the ceremony would be an intimate affair between family and friends, fans didn't feel left out as Simoncelli's funeral ceremony was broadcast on a large video screen outside of the church. MotoGP also noted that there was an additional large screen installed at the nearby Misano circuit for others to watch the ceremony.
MotoGP said that before the service began, footage of the 24 year-old rider during his days in the paddock was being shown.
MotoGP also said FIM president Vito Ippolito and CEO of Dorna Sports Carmelo Ezpeleta had this to say about the service:
What I experienced this afternoon in Coriano was very moving. After seeing the turnout of citizens, fans and the whole paddock there is no doubt that a great rider and a brilliant person has left us. The outpouring of affection that has been shown demonstrates that he has left his mark.
I was impressed by the courage of Marco's family, and especially the strength of his father, Paolo, who was able to transmit his strength and energy to others.
It has been extraordinary to see the MotoGP family come together for Marco Simoncelli. Despite the unfortunate loss, the tribute makes clear the immense affection that people had for him. We will never forget Marco.
Watch a video of the Simoncelli's funeral service below, then start the slideshow to see the photos.