Italian town of Coriano saw thousands of mourners Thursday at the funeral service of MotoGP rider Marco Simoncelli, who was killed Sunday during the Grand Prix race at Sepang International Circuit.
Simoncelli, 24, a MotoGP Italian rider, was killed in a gruesome crash involving two fellow riders at a race held at the Sepang track in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
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.
The hashtag #CiaoMarco (Bye, Marco) was trending on Twitter in Italy, during Simoncelli's funeral service, according to a BBC report.
Speaking from India, seven-time Formula One world champion Michael Schumacher told BBC, that he was touched by the death of Simoncelli, as well as that of English IndyCar driver Dan Wheldon, who was killed in Las Vegas a week earlier.
Napoli's supporters were seen holding a banner depicting Simoncelli during their Serie A soccer match against Udinese at San Paolo stadium in Naples, Thursday.