Marco Simoncelli: Honda Gresini pull out of Valencia Grand Prix. Valentino Rossi to continue racing (Photo tribute)
The death of Italian MotoGP rider, 24 year old Marco Simoncelli in Malaysia on Sunday has resulted in Honda Gresini pulling out of the 2011 season end Valencia Grand Prix. Marco Simoncelli succumbed to head injuries at the MotoGP Malaysian Grand Prix at Sepang this weekend when he lost control of his bike and came into the path of Colin Edwards and Valentino Rossi. The crash saw Simoncelli’s helmet being flung off on impact. Tributes have been coming in from across the motor sport community for Simoncelli.
Honda Gresini team chief, Fausto Gresini had this to say to Corriere dello Sport. “The only certainty is that my team won’t participate in the upcoming Valencia Grand Prix and in the tests programmed after the race.” “Everything happened so fast. I’m lost for words. I know our job is dangerous, that risk is part of the game, but you always hope nothing happens. When it does happen and you find yourself in the middle of it, everything changes, it’s difficult to accept it.” “The crash was caused by a sequence of incredibly negative circumstances, the bike that moved towards the inside of the turn instead of the outside, being run over on the widest track of the season.”
The incident has also resulted in Valentino Rossi deferring his retirement plans. Simoncelli’s death on the circuit comes close behind British IndiCar driver Dan Wheldon’s death the weekend earlier. This accident was a cause of 15 car pileup which resulted in his fatality.
32 year old Rossi, the Ducati rider 32 who has won 9 world titles, was very close to Simoncelli, and is distraught. His twitter message reads as follows. “Sic (Simoncelli) for me was like a youngest brother. So strong on the track and so sweet in normal life. I will miss him a lot,” It is evident that Rossi would miss his friend terribly, and would not consider retirement rightaway.
Rossi’s manager at former team Yamaha, Davide Brivio has offered a statement in regards to media rumors that the rcaer was too upset to continue. This is what he had to say on Twitter. “Many are asking about Vale stopping races. This is absolutely not true and I’m sorry even that I have to explain it.”
Investigations are on as to cause of death and reasons behind the helmet coming off but are still in initial stages and further reports are awaited. Marco Simoncelli’s funeral is to take place on Thursday. Honda Gresini team members plan to be present at the Valencia Grand Prix between 4th-6th November 2011. The race will honor the memory of Marco Simoncelli as reported on the official MotoGP website.