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Memories of Marco

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Matt Roberts | 08:46 UK time, Tuesday, 25 October 2011

I have just landed in Manchester having spent two seven-hour flights wondering how I could ever possibly begin this blog that I have been asked to write. During that time I came up with nothing.

All I can say is that this is not an objective piece of journalism. This is not an obituary. These are my thoughts.

There can be scant higher praise to bestow on Marco Simoncelli than saying that he was the most exciting thing to happen to motorcycle racing since Valentino Rossi.

As outrageous on the track as he was off it, his wild afro hairstyle and swashbuckling riding style won the hearts of fans all over the world. His death has brought us all to our knees.

Marco Simoncelli

Simoncelli brought his unique style to the world of MotoGP. Photo: Getty

Inspired by Rossi but quite evidently another maverick entirely of his own breed, Marco feared no rival and made no allowances for reputation, not even that of his great friend, the greatest of all time.

His final act was a lap and a half of pure adrenaline, swapping positions with Alvaro Bautista, a familiar foe, with trademark panache and derring-do. Riding on the edge, the only way he knew, delighting in his own impudence and improvisation, revelling in the one act he loved the most.

His two race performances before that were arguably the best of his career, both of them breathtaking battles to the finish with compatriot and another fierce rival in Andrea Dovizioso. Marco won out on both occasions to take fourth - despite a ride-through penalty - and second - his career best result - at Motegi and Phillip Island respectively.

In those two races the signs were there that he had finally managed to curb the overly combative style that had cost him further podiums or even wins earlier in the season and worked out how to channel his fearless aggression in the most productive manner. Up to then it had been the only chink in his armour.

Dovizioso and Bautista both had previous with Simoncelli from their days together in the smaller classes, as did the likes of Jorge Lorenzo and Dani Pedrosa, the most vocal amidst virtually unanimous criticism of his riding in the early stages of this season - particularly after a collision with Pedrosa at Le Mans left the Spaniard with a badly broken collarbone.

Under pressure from his peers and from the media, Marco's confidence took a beating but it did not crack. He seemed to know what the fans wanted and his refusal to be intimidated by the establishment endeared him to them even more.

At Silverstone I had the pleasure to introduce him to many of you at the Day of Champions auction, where he was given the loudest cheer of the evening - a hero's welcome. I know it meant a lot to him, confirmation that he should never change his ways. Believe me, your esteem was mutual.

Always accommodating, pleasant and professional, I never saw Marco say no to an autograph or a photo. That was not because he enjoyed the attention, he simply took great pleasure in making other people happy.

Marco was not a rider that would sulk or hide. If he crashed out of practice or a race he would always front up and talk to the cameras and if it was his fault he would readily admit it, occasionally behind sunglasses to hide the tears. At Phillip Island he crashed three times during practice in the same corner. The second and third, he joked afterwards, were just to confirm what happened the first time.

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At Le Mans earlier this year he agreed for us to interview him in his motor home between practice sessions, asking us if we minded that he eat his lunch - a plate of plain spaghetti - while we set up our cameras in his living room. "Of course not," I said. When I thanked him after we had finished filming he replied as he always did, with a firm handshake: "No problem. Thanks to you."

Born with talent but raised with humour, humility and good manners, Marco is a credit to the grief-stricken family left to mourn him. His father Paolo was at Sepang, as he was at every race, a chest we are so used to seeing bursting with pride now so devastatingly deflated by unthinkable hurt. For his son to depart at the age of 24, fatally struck by his hero and mentor, is a grave injustice to all of them.

There will be ramifications for our sport. Doubtless there will be questions about the immediate futures of Rossi and Colin Edwards, already in the twilight of glittering careers, and that of Team Gresini, who were relying heavily on Honda's support of Simoncelli for 2012 - their mutual faith in his future confirmed in a contract penned just three weeks ago.

But the sport itself will survive and will eventually be safer and stronger for this tragedy. It is important to remember that for every life that is lost in this way many thousands more are saved every day by the improvements made in rider protection and circuit design.

Sepang was a bruising weekend with several crashes, including those of Pedrosa and Ben Spies adding to those of Moto2 riders Marc Marquez, Bradley Smith and Axel Pons, who remains in hospital in Kuala Lumpur under observation for a sub-cranial haematoma.

The pain of these riders ultimately provides more valuable data that will help in making their chosen profession and passion as safe as it can possibly be yet, sadly, the quest for risk-free motor racing can never be fulfilled. It is a common and bitter irony that our sport's greatest appeal is also its greatest pitfall.

Motorcycle racing brought Marco Simoncelli to his death but it also brought him to life and you can rest assured that he would not have lived it any other way. Nor would any of his competitors, which is why they will all line up again in Valencia in less than two weeks' time, hand on the throttle, eager for those start lights to go out once again; hoping for the best, prepared for the worst.

Comments

Page 1 of 4

  • Comment number 1.

    I agree entirely. We need these (calculated) risk takers to make the sport interesting and stop it becoming like the F1 procession. We all love to be on the edge of our seats wondering how far they can push it but always hoping they make it.

  • Comment number 2.

    Still truly shocked. A wonderful blog on a fantastic sportsman. He will be missed.

  • Comment number 3.

    He was a shining light and certainly a world champion for the future.

    RIP. Marco Simoncelli

  • Comment number 4.

    good piece Matt, sums up how most fans thought of him and his racing style, so very very sad. love and respect to his family and friends. R.I.P. Marco.

  • Comment number 5.

    Thanks Matt... great read.

    RIP Super Sic.

  • Comment number 6.

    Well said Matt. Simo managed to combine his great talent and confidence with being a nice guy and put his personality into everything he did. I can't belive that #58 is now gone.

  • Comment number 7.

    Beautifully written Matt. Poignant and touching. Marco was a maverick, a hero and an inspiration to many bikers. His potential was as huge as his burgeoning talent. His riding audacity made us gasp and the numerous battles he had with the 'established' superstars of the sport only underlined the fact that it was a matter of time before they were going to be trailing in his wake.

    I was waiting to go in and watch a game of football on sunday when my partner cried out when she heard the news of his death. I didn't feel like doing anything; not watching a football match and I just wanted to go home and mourn his loss.

    All levels of bikers accept the dangers of the life we choose on two wheels. Moto GP riders are our heroes and Marco was destined to become one of the greats.

    My heart goes out to his family, Valentino Rossi, Colin Edwards and all those who knew and loved Marco.

    RIP mate and God bless you

  • Comment number 8.

    Marco is the perfect example of why I watched MotoGP rather than F1. The excitement perople like him bring to the sport is exactly what makes it such a great spectacle.
    Hopefully Rossi will not retire but i wouldn't be surprised nor would I blame him.
    I am not sure what more can be done to make it safer without removing the excitement these guys crave.
    I expect that while this is clearly a tragedy the powers that be will realise that if they make adjustments to the rules / machines / tracks the sport will become like F1 and these wonderfully crazy guys will find their kicks elsewhere.

    Thanks Simo!!

  • Comment number 9.

    Wow Matt, what can you say? Gutted, sickened, a terrible loss to us all. You are correct, it did bring us all to our knees on Sunday morning. I sat there in utter disbelief, unable to eat or talk. The wife and kids rising to wonder what had gone on??

    It must have taken a lot to eventually put pen to paper and your comments have captured how a lot of us are feeling. Every race endeared Sic to me more and more as he pushed to the limit, fearless and brave. Pure audacity and talent, without the arrogance.

    Not only a fabulous rider, but a true gentleman too. In your coverage of the Japan GP, as you are interviewing Aoyama pre race, you can see Sic come out of his motor home through the crowds, posing for photos and signing autographs as he went, with a huge smile on his face and his hair wobbling all over the place. Classic!

    I have had half term off with the kids this week and can't think about anything else other than the huge loss to us all, as a sport, but for his family too. They must be distraught.

    As a Rossi devotee, Sic represented the natural place for my allegiances as the GOAT prepared to retire next year (?). I still feel so moved, I can't write anymore....

    RIP #58

  • Comment number 10.

    I had a tear in my eye reading that...

    His accident, as we all know, wasn't down to lack of safety. It was a freak accident. Ironic that Lorenzo said his riding style would get someone killed, but his death turned out to be very, very unlucky.

    Rest In Peace Marco. You were fantastic to watch and will be sorely missed.

  • Comment number 11.

    I couldn't agree with you any more Matt. the whole piece is very poignant and touching and I can only imagine how difficult it must have been for you to write it.

    The world of Moto GP has truly lost a sensation character.

    Heartfelt sympathy goes out to all the riders, teams, family and friends affected by this awful tragedy.

    RIP Marco Simoncelli - sorely missed but not forgotten.

  • Comment number 12.

    Moto GP will be a less exciting, less interesting place. Marco is the greatest champion we will never have, I have no doubt that he would have won it, maybe with his determination and aggression he could have emulated his friend Vale. Marco always seemed like a really nice bloke, I can't imagine any of the other racers being happy at being called Side Show Bob! So many people I have talked too have felt this loss keenly, I only know Marco through the Moto GP coverage, to those who knew Marco I can't image how they feel, it is a truly sad time for Motorsport and my thoughts are with all who knew and loved Marco as well as his legions of fans around the world. RIP Marco.

  • Comment number 13.

    A fitting tribute to a great racer with real character and personality. Had he not been taken from us so young, I'm sure his first MotoGP win would have come soon and his first MotoGP world championship would not have been far behind. Ciao Marco

  • Comment number 14.

    A World champion of the further and a lot of people fav rider great man and a great racer R I P super sic,Marco Simoncelli

    well writen blog matt

  • Comment number 15.

    Super Sic, a ray of light with his smile and enthusiasm lighting up our MotoGP race weekends.

    Truly heartbreaking, especially after watching his proud father in the pits on practice on Sat, as most race weekends.

    A 'proper racer', almost from a bygone era, rode to and beyond the limit compensating for his 6'2 frame against much smaller and lighter riders, and removing his helmet to reveal his wild afro.

    Whilst some of the established riders criticised him for, dare I suspect not respecting their reputations, race fans were truly greatful for the gutsy displays he gifted us (especially for me, after a 13 hours round trip to Silverstone).

    Would of no doubt been a future MotoGP world champion, probably sharing mutiple world titles with Marquez.

    A career cut tragically short, RIP Marco, and our heartfelt wishes to your families and friends, and also Valentino and Colin.

  • Comment number 16.

    Lovely sentiments to an exciting rider who we will all miss. My heart goes out to his family, his poor girlfriend seen wracked with grief in what should have been a private moment and to Colin and Vale who I hope will carry on bringing their indomitable spirit and personality to our favourite sport that needs it's characters.
    Ciao Marco.

  • Comment number 17.

    Huge hair, huge personality, huge talent and a huge gap left.

    I suspect he lived more in 24 years than I have in 58.

    RIP Marco.

  • Comment number 18.

    Lovely piece Matt, first one to bring not just a tear but also a smile. I look forward to Valencia to see the paddock all together to remember #58.

  • Comment number 19.

    i was at sepang and witnessed the accident as i was on that side and not on the pit straight. i immediately knew it was bad. there were few playbacks on the screens at the track and the atmosphere was sombre. when the race was cancelled only those on the pit straight booed, we just left and heard the awful news in the queue for the buses. marco is a great loss. your blog excellent.

  • Comment number 20.

    Cheers Matt - enjoyed reading that.

    I still can't take it all in - As a newcomer to motogp at the end of last season, I was focussed on the Lorenzo / Rossi fun and games.

    This season for me was all about Marco - The usual two up front but to watch Marco ride put me on the edge of my seat. Exciting is not a big enough word for his riding. He was such a character and shone so bright .

    Where does Moto gp go from here ?

    I hope none of the riders involved retire - no blame can be appointed here.
    I wish for moto gp to still be as exciting as it was with super sic 58.

    R.I.P - a great man

  • Comment number 21.

    Excellent blog Matt, sums up my feelings perfectly - he will be greatly missed by all those that love MotoGP. RIP Marco.

  • Comment number 22.

    Great blog Matt. I am still in shock by it.

    I had the pleasure of watching Marco ride at Assen this year, and even though he crashed with Lorenzo, he got back up and pushed the bike back down the track and made it restart. Everytime he went past us he always got the biggest cheer from the entire crowd.

    Thoughts go out to his family, friends and also the racing community.
    RIP Marco #58.

  • Comment number 23.

    Well done Matt, very thoughtfully written, it must have been very hard to put your feelings into words for the public. I am still really shocked and sad, it was horrible to watch and I think it will take a very long time to come to terms with it. I feel for all his Family and friends and feel really sorry for Valentino and Colin, I hope they both can carry on. R.I.P. Marco

  • Comment number 24.

    Great piece Matt, as we have grown to expect from you. After 3 days of reeling from that tragic moment in Malaysia, I was finally getting over the shock. But reading your heart-felt words takes me to a deeper sadness; one that understands the wonderful human being we have lost. Recognising the changes young Marco had made in recent races only heightens the pain of his passing. For that personality and passion, combined with a more mature approach to racing, was a potent mix we are left to ponder for an eternity. He clearly touched all who were lucky enough to know him. Much love to you guys in the pit lane, and his devastated family and friends. Marco; wear your hair as big as you like, and enjoy the twisties, wherever you may be. RIP.

  • Comment number 25.

    It felt like the unthinkable happened. Having followed his career for many years I was getting even more excited to see it all starting to shape up in the premier class, looking forward to celebrate his wins, and in my mind opinion, future world titles. My heart also goes out to Edwards and Rossi, I can not begin to understand how they feel. A devastating tragedy. RIP Super Sic.

  • Comment number 26.

    I am still stunned following Sundays terrible news.. I stuck with him in my MCN fantasy team all season and had a flutter on his impending maiden victory many times.. It is not a case of what might have been but what WOULD have been. Such a sad loss, the sport needs characters like Marco Simoncelli.. Bring on Valencia and do him proud! Win one for me in the sky Marco. RIP SuperSic.

  • Comment number 27.

    Thanks Matt, you have summed up the legend that he is, even at such a young age.
    I read your tribute with a tear in my eyes. It is just so so sad that he will not be on the grid again.
    RIP Marco

  • Comment number 28.

    I think you summed up how we all feel Matt, an excellent blogg. I was sat watching on the mountain at Cadwell with my two young sons when young Ben Gautrey was killed in august and i sat with them on sunday morning on the couch watching when Marco passed away, my youngest summed it up to me, he said 'at least he died doing what he loved'

    RIP Marco.

  • Comment number 29.

    Beautiful words Matt, a fitting tribute a truly talented rider and great young man. We will miss you grately Super Sic.

    RIP Marco #58

  • Comment number 30.

    Ripose in Pace: Marco 'Super Sic' #58.

  • Comment number 31.

    Nice one Matt. Superb piece.

    RIP Simo.........I will miss you

  • Comment number 32.

    I'm fairly new to watching Moto GP ( about 2 years), but Marco immediately stood out as the most exciting rider on the grid.
    Gutted at his loss, had many tears this weekend at the sad loss of a young man.

    Rest in peace Marco, the world is less exciting without you.

  • Comment number 33.

    Beautifully written piece Matt. No other sportmans tragic passing has stunned me or brought me to tears as much as Marco's. His style, his flair, his charisma and his obvious love for the sport and his fans.Ciao Marco - RIP

  • Comment number 34.

    Thanks matt, i think this sums up how everyone's feeling.
    I still can't believe it, he will be greatly missed.

    I hope Rossi and colin don't retire after this, but no one would think less of them if they did, it was a freak accident that could have happened to anyone.

    RIP Marco

  • Comment number 35.

    Like so many I just took to Marco straight away - he brought the rebel out I guess. However I don't often feel moved to leave a comment but that was such an inspired, thoughtful and touching article that it moved me to respond - thank you Matt, you're a credit to the sport.
    RIP MS

  • Comment number 36.

    Great words Matt and a fitting tribute to an awesome rider who will be sorely missed from the grid. Thoughts are also with Valentino and Colin at what must be a tough time for them.

    RIP Marco

  • Comment number 37.

    Thanks Matt. A mighty challenge to write constructively when the shock is still so numbing. Marco had set the season alight, and we all had great hopes for his success that should have come.
    Keep up the good work.

  • Comment number 38.

    Requiescat in pace marco #58

  • Comment number 39.

    Having watched Moto GP for the best part of 10yrs now, I've seen a number of riders come and go. But there's only really been 1 rider who really excited me in his style and commitment, and that was/is Rossi. But in the last couple of years, a young man emerged with the talent to be just as exciting, unfortunately last weekend we lost that great talent. I for one enjoyed your racing style Marco, I will miss it.

    R I P Marco Simoncelli #58

  • Comment number 40.

    Well written Blog about a great person and rider. Marco bought life into moto GP like Valentino has for years. Unlike some of the other lead riders he did not winge, sulk or complain, he got on with what he loved to do. He will be missed by all the many fans he had around the world and his family and close friends must be truly devastated. What a sad sad loss...

  • Comment number 41.

    For many hours after Marco`s passing away it seemed to me so unreal, almost like a bad dream, i wish it was only that.
    Deepest condolences to Marco`s family and friends, i dont think any of us will ever forget him, rest in peace Marco.

  • Comment number 42.

    Only 30 minutes before the race start, Australian tv showed a clip of Simoncelli talking about his bike and himself, a really engaging and unpretentious guy, it was horrifying to see the crash, apparently nothing to do with GP safety standards but just the freak that after he slid his back wheel gripped and drove him in front of Edwards rather than the bike sliding off the track, what a tragedy. Matt, I appreciate your comments.

  • Comment number 43.

    Well said Matt. He was to my mind the most exciting and naturally gifted rider with huge amounts of panache and personality since Mr V. Rossi. There is no finer tribute in the modern era. The sentiments on this and other websites are testiment to his huge impact and the overwhelming sense of loss being felt. His family and friends as well as Edwards and Rossi will need time to come to terms with his crash but I fear the latter two will now retire. Its all so very sad for everyone connected to the sport when any rider dies but in these circumstances even more so. Marco - thanks for the memories.RIP

  • Comment number 44.

    You have put into words what we have all felt Matt, especially being brought to our knees. I couldn't stop crying on Sunday after I'd heard the news. I really expected Marco to take Rossi's place as and when he left to do other things. My heart goes out to Marco's family, close friends and team members and also to Colin and Vale who must be distraught. I can't believe we won't be seeing the amazing Marco at Valencia in a few weeks time. He made MotoGP so much fun to watch and was a really lovely guy with lots of talent. Taken from us far too young. He will be sadly missed. xx

  • Comment number 45.

    Sic was one of the most exciting riders in MOTO gp with a big personality to match there a few riders that have those qualities, and now sadly there is one less. This year season has been exciting to watch and Marco was the rider that made this season , moto gp has lost a true star he will never be forgotten. RIP super sic .

  • Comment number 46.

    Thanks Matt

    Still hasn't sunk in that MotoGP has lost one of its stars both on and off the track, I remember at Silverstone at the riders forum after qualifying he got one of the biggest cheers and everyone was looking forward to seeing him. He was loved.

    I guess it will sink in at Valencia when he isnt on the grid :(

    R.I.P Marco #58

  • Comment number 47.

    Absolutely perfect piece of writing, reminded me of the couple of times I have met Marco breifly myself. He always had time and a smile for his fans no matter how busy he was. He was an inspiring rider and I loved the way he would battle no matter what the other riders would say about his riding style. His style and presence is going to missed so badly and I think there will always be a hole on the grid now where he and his no.58 bike should be.

  • Comment number 48.

    Great piece Matt, thank you so much for sharing your thoughts with us.

    All weekend i've been trying to articulate what I feel at the loss of such a great rider. Needless to say i've been failing miserably. I find it hard to understand how I can be so deeply affected by someone I never met, but I guess that was all part of his charm.

    Like others here I could see in Marco the makings of the next Rossi, with his own little quirks and massively entertaining riding style. Not to take anything away from the skill of riders like Casey or Lorenzo, but for me when watching the races, the excitement always came when the camera was on Marco, and as the season progressed you could see him learning and evolving into what would have undoubtably been a multiple world champion. Such a nasty twist of fate that his loss should come as a result of what ordinarily would have just been a slide into the gravel trap.

    I think the sport will be in mourning for a long while to come, but I certainly hope that it will not end up with the retirement of either Rossi or Edwards, as i'm sure Marco would have not wanted to have had that effect.

    R.I.P. Marco, You will be remembered always. xx

  • Comment number 49.

    marco was the reason i became a fan or moto gp, i always admired Rossis achievments but sic brought something more....his never back down style, i always thought if i was a rider, thats the way i'd want to do it, aggressive, on the edge, barn storming, you always knew when Marco was on the charge and so did his rivals.
    I know its a cliche but i dont think its ever been more apt, he died doing what he loved and you could see his love for it every time he put on his leathers, always pushing and improving without doubt a future champion in my opinion.
    Such a sad, sad loss to the sport, his family, his friends, his fans...as a 30 year old, 19 stone bloke i have no shame in admitting i had tears in my eyes on sunday morning and im sure that there were many like me all around the world.
    RIP Marco, you'll be missed.

  • Comment number 50.

    I think Simoncelli's death could be the death of Moto GP. With Edwards hanging up his boots this year, Rossi looking set to do the same eithet this year or next where's the character going to be in Moto GP? I mean no disrespect to lets face it hugely talented riders, but we're going to be left with a bunch of Kimi Riakonens, one worded, dull voiced, over rehersed, over corporate interviews, grid walks and ultimately that will carry over into the races. Long gone are the days of Rossi "drifting" around the penultimate lap at Donnington with 4 or 5 riders right on his backside. RIP Marco!

  • Comment number 51.

    Matt, what a fantastic tribute. Thank you for that.

  • Comment number 52.

    He did what he loved, there can be no mistake about that. He will be so sadly missed, a great prospect, a genuinely fun guy and a demon on 2 wheels.
    He just seemed so full of life and even though i never new him i'll miss what he brought to the sport

  • Comment number 53.

    Very well written blog Matt, I think Marco touched all of our hearts, I am struggling to take in the news, he was a true great, and a future Moto GP world Champion.

    I remember being at Silverstone this season on the start finish straight and we were close to a few chaps wearing Marco wigs who were cheering him, he came out of his pit and waved to them all and I got a lovely photo of the moment, he made our day, I think it sums up what a nice bloke he was that he took the time to come out and acknowledge his fans and I am sure they will treasure that memory forever.

    It is a massive loss to our sport and like some one said in a previous post, I am a big Rossi fan as well & Marco was the man I thought I would be supporting for years once Vale retired.

    My thoughts are with his family , friends, girl friend + Rossi & Edwards. RIP Super SIC 58

  • Comment number 54.

    Nice moving post, he will be sorely missed his enthusiasm knew no bounds such a bloody shame RIP Marco

    On the sunday i had my bike parked on the drive all ready to go out after the race, but after the crash, i went outside to put it back in the garage, but in the end i fired here up and just rode.

  • Comment number 55.

    Well written Matt,

    Can't say anymore filling up again

    RIP Super Sic you will be missed by so many

  • Comment number 56.

    Very well written Matt, a perfect memoire.

    Seeing Marco go down was painful enough, seeing the words that he had succumbed to his injuries hit me like a ton of bricks. Still, as you say, he wouldn't of wanted his life any other way, the gap he leaves will be a big job to fill.

    RIP Super Sic.

  • Comment number 57.

    Excellent piece of writing Matt, and truly heartfelt. You can be proud of yourself for sharing your memories of Marco in this way.

    Marco was a real breath of fresh air in MotoGP. While his aggressive riding didn't always endear him to his rivals, it won the hearts of millions of fans worldwide.

    R.I.P. Marco (gone but never forgotten)

  • Comment number 58.

    Marco was going to carry Motogp once Rossi retired.

    He has been the only real excitement in probbaly the dullest championship probably in the motogp era.

    Super Sic gave something different to the robots of Stoner, Pedrosa etc and this is is an absolute tragedy.

    I still feel sick now when I think about it.

    RIP Marco!!!

  • Comment number 59.

    Absolutely agree Matt. We were huge fans of Super Sic, and were lucky enough to watch him racing at Silverstone this year.
    It's a tragedy that has been felt by my whole family, and something that we are all finding really difficult to come to terms with.
    I truly believe he was destined to become one the greats, and without him MotoGP will be missing something special now.
    Still absolutely stunned.
    R.I.P Marco

  • Comment number 60.

    I've got tears in my eyes and a lump in my throat after reading that. Beautifully written Matt.

    R.I.P Marco

  • Comment number 61.

    Thank you Matt. Still at KL airport on my way back to the UK - it feels a million miles away today. This sport we love so much can be so unbelievably cruel...

  • Comment number 62.

    Thanks matt, after marco having become a house hold name in our family, these thoughts have helped me to understand something that is so hard to come to terms with. A true shining star who will remain in our hearts forever.

  • Comment number 63.

    Great piece Matt, thanks, was and still am completely stunned, MotoGP will miss #58, as will we all, Marco was a real racer with his own style and thats what we all loved him for.

  • Comment number 64.

    There is a light than never goes out........

    RIP Marco

  • Comment number 65.

    Great job Matt, as was the way you handled Sunday.

    I can't add anything that hasnt been said above. At Silverstone this year despite the weather, Marco lit the place up. I'm glad he appreciated the support he was given at silverstone, we all appreciated him. I'm just glad I got to see him doing what he did so well. I feel like I have lost part of my future.
    Ciao Super Sic #58

  • Comment number 66.

    Matt...

    "Riding on the edge, the only way he knew, delighting in his own impudence and improvisation, revelling in the one act he loved the most."

    A great line and perfect summary. The sport is a great deal weaker without riders prepared to race like Marco.

  • Comment number 67.

    Beautifully written Matt, Marco was a true champion.

    Got to see him race at Silverstone 2010 and I'll never forget it. He was incredible and this is such a huge loss. Still in shock to be honest. Ride free now SuperSic...

  • Comment number 68.

    What a great article... I have only been following MotoGP for about 3 years and Marco always stood out for me a true individual that would never be like the other riders!!! Taking risks and being in the heat of the action that is who Simoncelli was and he was never going to change nor should he have been made to!! He will never be forgotten, my thoughts are with his family and friends at this awful time.

    My thoughts also go to Rossi and to Edwards what they both must be going through now I can not even begin to imagine, but there was nothing that could be done!

  • Comment number 69.

    I have got so much to do today but cannot get up from my computer and stop reading the comments following Matt's touching blog.

    This morning has been like therapy.

    Reading the comments is bringing comfort that Super Sic was loved and his endearing talent recognised by so many people. I am a 35 year old man, married, with 2 children and can't ever remember feeling this way about someone not within my immediate circle. The feeling of loss is palpable, on Sunday morning I wept for the first time in years.

    A huge, huge loss.

    RIP #58

  • Comment number 70.

    It is surely a massive loss to the sport and will have ramifications on the future as Matt has said with regards to Gresini, Honda, Rossi and Edwards.

    All will look long and hard and think what the future will bring to them. I foresee them seeing out their contracts and maybe then heading home for the last time.

    This does confirm that MotoGP like any form of motor racing is dangerous but we will always have these heroes out there on the circuits of the worlds for everyone to cheer on and adore.

    Marco will always have a special place in both your heart and mine as he has touched not only the fans of MotoGP but most of the world.

  • Comment number 71.

    I never cry and I rarely even get upset when famous people die but I have to admit to having to fight back the tears when I heard about Marco Simoncelli. I am absolutely gutted, I feel sick in my stomach, he made MotoGP interesting again and was only 2nd to Rossi in my eyes for adoration.

    Rossi must be feeling dreadful for his part in this, the fragility of life is shown here again.

    RIP Marco, you won't be forgotten.

  • Comment number 72.

    As a relative newcomer to MotoGP, I found that I could relate to Marco far more than any of the other riders in the field. Even my friends who didn't get MotoGP liked him for his agression, passion and hair. I was worried that his spirit had been broken earlier in the season, but he kept doing what he did best right up until the very end.

    Marco's death upset me far more than any other popular figure that I can remember, possibly because he was so young and had everything still to do, but I think more likely because of his unbounded enthusiasm; his joy to be on the podium was moving. I read somewhere else on the internet that "he died doing that which made him feel most alive", which struck me as a beautiful rebuttal to those who would blindly say that they have no sympathy for someone taking part in a dangerous sport.

    I was there at Silverstone in the lashing rain this year, and Simoncelli added some spark to the race. I was also fortunate to watch his first podium at Brno from a cafe in a tiny Italian village in the Dolomites and you could sense the affection they had for him.

    My thoughts go out to his family, friends and team, and to Vale and Colin, neither of whom were at fault.

    R.I.P Super Sic :(

  • Comment number 73.

    Well done Matt, a difficult piece to write.

    Couldn't and still can't believe what happened at Sepang.

    He was a true racer. He made me watch the 250 races prior to any MotoGP because you knew he'd try and make that move to pass where nobody else would.

    Thoughts are with his family, friends and fellow racers, in particular Edwards and Rossi.

    RIP Marco.

  • Comment number 74.

    Great comments Matt, nice to see words written from someone who cares for the sport. Marco was a truley great guy. I remember him on Stage at Silverstone a real character.

    RIP. Maro 58, lets hope you can get your Knee down up there somewhere.

  • Comment number 75.

    Really shocked and saddened. I'm not a biker but love watching BBC2's MotoGP coverage. Marco was my favourite rider and one of the main reasons I watch. He was cool and charismatic and great fun to watch. I didn't catch the race live on Sunday - had planned to watch the afternoon show. I pressed the red button before then to see who'd won and couldn't believe it when I read the news.

  • Comment number 76.

    Our family are stunned by Marco's tragic death. Matt, you've written a touching piece. What a talent he had, we were quite convinced that he would win the championship one day.

    Can't begin to imagine what his family must be going through. Marco, we're going to miss you. Our thoughts are with your family as well as Valentino and Colin.

    RIP Marco, we won't forget you.

  • Comment number 77.

    Well done Matt, great blog.

  • Comment number 78.

    As a part time viewer it was Marco that had turned me into a regular this season. In a world where the upper echelons of sport are dominated by pragmatism and numbers it's those that bring colour and excitement who are revered and hero worshiped. Marco was that man for MotoGP. He will be sorely missed.

  • Comment number 79.

    What I find most distressing about this tragedy is the instant global coverage. Modern multimedia allowing millions of people to instantly view Marco's violent death. I think of his poor family trying to avoid these images. Lets remember Marco, not for the way he died, but for his huge talent, huge character and huge hair. I'm so sorry Marco.

  • Comment number 80.

    As everyone's already said, this is a great tribute Matt. The reaction from the community over this has been amazingly strong, I guess deep down even those who weren't fans of Marco knew that we were looking at an amazing talent that was really going to shape the future of the sport. I wrote this on the morning it happened: http://whoneedsfourwheels.blogspot.com/2011/10/ciao-super-sic-motogp-loses-one-of-its.html and to be honest I still feel as shaken up even now when I think about it.

    It's going to be hard to watch the race at Valencia - even harder for you guys I'm sure. I hope they do something like reserve the pole position and leave it empty as a tribute to someone who would surely have sat there many times. There isn't really much else I can say - this weekend proved that MotoGP really is a family, and though we may fight amongst ourselves from time to time, the loss of one of our own is more shocking and painful than any of us thought possible. I hope that those close to Marco and his family can find strength in that knowledge - our thoughts are with you all.

    Ciao, Super Sic #58.

  • Comment number 81.

    He was an great guy to watch both on and off the track with a spirit, belief and determination few share amd you can't help but wish you had more of yourself.

    As one of those sportsmen you expect to see acheive great things and it seems unimaginable he is not there which is possibly why the shock of seeing and hearing confirmation of the accident is so hard to take in really.

    On Rossi and Edwards involvement its pretty obvious neither guy could have got much further across to get out the way in the time they had exiting the corner and hopefully they realise they are blameless.

    Anyway RIP Marco

  • Comment number 82.

    Fitting words Matt - Still gutted........

    RIP Marco

  • Comment number 83.

    As previously said by others, fantastic blog Matt - but for the wrong reasons. This should've been about Marco claiming his first win.

    Sunday morning, I was stunned with what happened. I could not believe it at first, and was expecting Marco to get up and the race would be restarted.

    Marco was the natural successor to VR. No one else has the same charisma, character or grin like him - or even hair.

    Even now I still can't accept what happened to someone who would've been considered as a great in the sport

    Regarding the accident circumstances, the chances of this happening were probably 1 in 1000 (may be more). It leaves me frustrated and asking questions like why? Why didn't the bike slide away from the track (like the usual low side) instead of cutting back across in to the path of others. Why couldn't Edwards and Rossi be a second behind MS, therefore having the chance to avoid collison.

    My thoughts go out to Marco's family, friends, Rossi and Edwards.

    RIP Marco - you will be missed

  • Comment number 84.

    It's obvious from your blog Marco meant a lot to a lot of people.

    He was where he wanted to be be doing what he loved.

    Love and respect to all his family and friends, and the family which is MotoGP

    RIP SuperSic #58

  • Comment number 85.

    Well done Matt,
    a very nice blog saying what a lot of us Motogp fans think and feel.
    I can only hope that the change to the 1000cc bikes next season will cut the cornering dangers of the 800's due to the high corner speeds required to fire them out the corners. this has been a major problem since the introduction of the 800's following Dijiro's death in 2003.
    anyway, thankyou for your blog, it will be gretaly recieved by all.

  • Comment number 86.

    A massive loss to the sport, didn't even know it had happened until Monday..failed record of the Eurosport replay.

    Goodbye Marco.

  • Comment number 87.

    I still can't believe it. Selfishly, the majority of my thoughts have been about my loss...the fact that I will not get to watch him race again, I can't image the loss that his family and friends are going through. Rest In Peace 'Super Sic', you were and will always be legendary!!

  • Comment number 88.

    Terrible terrible news. Nice piece though Matt. Like many on here this has affected me much more than I expected. Its difficult to put together a logical comment.
    Heartfelt condolences to the Simoncelli family and also I extend my sympathies to Vale & Colin.
    What cruel fate when those involved are the sport's future and past - three great ambassadors for what is best about Motorcycle racing.
    Ciao & Grazie Marco

  • Comment number 89.

    Beautifully written Matt - he will be sadly missed as he had a real aura and connection with the fans - rip super sic!

  • Comment number 90.

    Already said this on twitter but wanted to add a little something here too.

    Beautifully written peace Matt on how Marco's racing career and more importantly, his generous personality enriched the lives of not only those he met or know, but to people watching MotoGp from the comfort of their front room.

    I saw the incident hours after it happened as I had recorded it for later on in the day so of course got quite a shock, one that has stayed with me and will do for sometime.

    I hope one day soon that initial shock will subside to be replaced with joyous memories of the lasting effect Marco had on our sport we hold so dear.

    Rest in Peace Marco, you will never be forgotten.

  • Comment number 91.

    Well said Matt.

    It was a very sad start to Sunday for everyone. I think MOTO GP will be all the poorer without Marco.

    I would also like to say well done to you for holding the programe together hitting the correct tone and presentation style during the unfolding situation. Not an easy task.

    My thoughts go out to Marco's family and firends.
    Steve Bowen.

  • Comment number 92.

    A lovely piece Matt - thank you. I wasn't a fan of Marco's but there was no doubting his talent and he was just the personality that MotoGP needs just now. I'm a fairly recent convert to MotoGP - I've only been watching for the past two years and I'm not a bike person (you couldn't pay me to get on one) but what drew me in was the excitement of the racing and the personalities of the riders. Many's a race Marco's had me on the edge of my seat wondering what crazy thing he's going to do next- it's going to be alot quieter round here without him. My thoughts are with his loved ones and with Colin and Vale and all in the MotoGP family.

  • Comment number 93.

    A truly terrible loss to the sport, and to his family and friends. Such a tragedy to lose a talented, personable and outstanding young rider. He will be sadly missed.

  • Comment number 94.

    Devastated to see a sporting hero pass away. Still nursing a keen sense of loss and teary eyes. RIP SuperSic.

  • Comment number 95.

    Thanks Matt.

    MS was a charismatic rider, in many ways embodying the spirit of bike racing. It is particularly sad that the end came as he had seemingly begun to translate his major talent into results in the top class.

    Like many others, I was lost on Sunday morning - sure, these guys know the risks and you can never make bike racing risk-free, but the sport has seemed pointless in the period since his accident.

    All our thoughts are with his family and friends.

  • Comment number 96.

    A lovely, well written, fitting piece Matt.

    I have been addicted to bike racing since I attended my first race at Silverstone in 1980 on my first bike. I love this sport and have seen pretty much everything over the years, but I can’t remember being so personally affected before. I never met Marco, but like many on here feel a deep loss at his passing. It lifts my sprit a little to see so many posters on here share the same feelings.

    I can still vividly recall screaming at the TV on Sunday morning in the aftermath of the crash.

    Gone, but never forgotten RIP Marco, Ciao #58

  • Comment number 97.

    The world is a little less brighter now you have left us Simo. Thank you for the energy and colour you brought to Motorsport. You were a thrill to watch, always on the knife edge. Taken too young, before you had a chance to fully blossom into that amazing talent we could all see. You have left us here, breathless, invigorated, awe inspired and full of admiration. That is how you will stay in our memory. Rest easy our friend, in the company of heroes.

  • Comment number 98.

    This is so incredibly sad. I didn't follow Marco's career closely in the smaller classes but it was impossible not to become an instant fan of 'Sideshow Bob' when he arrived on the MotoGP scene. His flamboyance on and off the bike and the humility you allude to in your blog make his loss all the harder to bear.
    Having seen the footage of the accident, something just didn't seem right and I couldn't agree with the initial explanation (subsequently revised/updated by Charlie Cox) that this was a lowside gone wrong. Having suffered my fair share of lowsides on a track it was clear that there was no real loss of front end grip simply because the bike tracked hard to the right on a right hander. If it had been a lowside the bike would have simply washed out and Marco and bike would have exited stage left to safety. I've subsequently been informed by someone who has seen the telemetry from the garage that what happened was basically as follows:
    a) Marco went into the corner too hot and in an effort to make it round tipped the bike even further over to tighten the radius of the turn.
    b) In doing so he grounded his footpeg and/or fairing and this lifted the rear wheel from the tarmac. The effect of this was to pivot the bike as the rear 'stepped away' which threw Marco forward and to the right. This explains his body position that you see in the footage and which didn't seem to sit right with Charlie's initial explanation (in my opinion).
    c) In his effort to stay on the bike it was unfortnate that Marco applied power just as the rear came back into contact with the tarmac and the bike, now facing too far right, accelerated across the path of the oncoming bikes. The result was obviously tragic and as Charlie said in his piece, would have been innocuous were it a practice or test.
    If only this could change things but I felt a little (not much!) better after coming up with an explanation for the accident that I could understand and rationalise.

  • Comment number 99.

    For a couple of years I wondered who we would get to watch riding for the shear love of riding once the doctor has retired...#58 had the look and riding style of a no fear lover of motorcycle sports the befits a true future champion, my thoughts are with his family, friends, and those who truly know what a sad, sad loss to the sport as a whole, marco's death has brought, his fellow riders.
    R.I.P. #58 gone to the spirit in the sky

  • Comment number 100.

    great guy, great rider, great hair.... a terrible terrible loss not only to moto gp fans but the sporting world as a whole.

    Clearly destined as figurehead of the sport not only in terms of race wins but also as an entertainer and personality, it is dificult to imagine races without his swashbuckling style and brave, determined demeanour.

    Thankfully i didn't see the race as i was on route to a family gathering but when i heard the news, i had to stop the car to gather myself and could think of nothing else all day.

    Seeing his handsome face in all all the blogs and newspieces associated with his passing is incredibly upsetting and it will take the sport and fans of the sport a long time to overcome this terrible loss.

 

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