A funeral service for Marco Simoncelli has been set for Thursday. Simoncelli, a motorcycle rider for Honda died on Sunday following a motorcycle crash during the Malaysian MotoGP.
The funeral service will begin at 3 p.m. in the church of Santa Maria di Coriano, after which Simoncelli, 24, will be buried in a cemetery near Riccione where he was born, according to MotoGP.
The funeral will reportedly be a private affair for family, friends, other riders and his Gresini team. Fans are being asked to stay off the roads, as authorities said the town won't be able to cope with the number of mourners who are expected to descend on Coriano, according to Agence France-Presse.
I'm happy that you're here because the hardest moment will be Thursday night when everything's finished and we're left on our own, Simoncelli's father Paolo told journalists.
Thank you to everyone and I'm not just saying that.
To say that I'm delighted with the way the world has reacted would be stupid but we hadn't realized how important Marco was to people.
He was special -- people understood he was honest. Marco was pure, the father of the deceased said according to AFP.
A public viewing of Simoncelli's body has been set for Wednesday in the city theater of his hometown Coriano.
Simoncelli fell off his motorcycle on lap two of the Sepang circuit race on Sunday and was accidentally struck by two riders in the race.
Simoncelli's body arrived at Fiumicino airport on Tuesday morning where representatives from several sporting organizations to include Gianni Petrucci, secretary of the Italian National Olympic Committee, and Paolo Sesti, president of the Italian Federation of Motorcycling, were awaiting the arrival of the casket, according to MotoGP.
Fans also gathered in Rome airport facilities for the arrival of Simoncelli's casket and offered applause.
A statement issued by MotoGP noted that Simoncelli's father Paolo and the rider's long-time friend Valentino Rossi traveled together on the same flight from Kuala Lumpur with rider's casket.
Following the accident, MotoGP said that an ambulance transported Simoncelli to the circuit medical center where the medical staff tried to resuscitate him.
Despite their efforts, Marco sadly succumbed to his injuries at 4:56 p.m. local time, MotoGP noted in statement.
It was Simoncelli second season competing in MotoGP for the Honda team.
ESPN reported that Simoncelli's death is the first fatality in MotoGP since Daijiro Katoh succumbed to injuries he received in the Japanese MotoGP in 2003.
I just don't know what to say, words escape me, said Shuhei Nakamoto, executive vice president of Honda Racing Corp. Marco was a very nice guy and a very talented rider. Sometimes I was a little harsh with him, for example after his first MotoGP podium in Brno when I told him: Lucky podium! and he was so angry... but I wanted to motivate him as I knew he was able to do even more.
I was thinking that when he won his first race we would have been able to celebrate together... Now I just want to say thank you to Marco, for what you gave me and pass my sincere condolences to his family and this very sad time.
Watch the video of Simoncelli's body arriving in Italy here.
Watch the accident happen below.