Those people who know me well know how much I love MotoGP and its star Valentino Rossi. I love following the races even if I am disappointed because Vale has not been doing so well this year since he switched to Ducati. But, like a true fan, I am there to show him support. I know what he is capable of doing and I will be patient until he starts winning races with Ducati.
So early this morning (1:00 a.m. my time), I was following the live timing at the Sepang race. I saw that the race was red-flagged after the first lap, which means everyone must stop and go back to their garages. A race can be red-flagged because of bad weather or for a serious injury on the track. I thought it was because of bad weather since I saw that their weather had been somewhat nasty. I had no idea of the real reason for the race to be red-flagged. Marco Simoncelli had an accident.
Marco was involved in a horrible accident outside of Turn 11 during the second lap. He and the bike slid as he was coming out of the turn. Normally, the bike and racer will keep on going straight, but in this case, he and the bike swung hard towards the right and came across the path of Colin Edwards and Vale (who was on the right side of Colin). Colin and Vale had no time to react and hit Marco straight on. Marco laid on the pavement unconscious with his helmet ripped off. Colin suffered most of the impact and tumbled on the ground, hitting Marco’s bike, and breaking his collar bone in the process. Vale was able to stay upright even if he ended up on the grass with his bike. Marco was transported to the track’s medical center where the medical staff tried to revive him for 45 minutes to no avail. Marco passed away at 4:56 p.m. local time.
I can’t even begin to imagine how Colin and Vale must be feeling. I know that they are riders and are aware of the risks. Each rider knows that with each race, there is a chance he could get majorly hurt, or worse, lose his life. But both Colin and Vale are seasoned riders and have never encountered anything like this. Yes, they have been hurt in accidents before, but never been involved in an accident that claimed the life of someone so young like Marco.
Seeing Vale’s expressions as he awaited to hear how Marco was doing (first reports claimed he was conscious, but later it was found out that CPR was started in the ambulance) broke my heart. It broke my heart because it reminded me of how I felt when we lost Stewart in December 2010. Vale and Marco were close friends off and on the track, and Stewart and I were close friends on and off work. I am sure the last thing Vale wanted to hear was that his close friend, someone he considered a young brother died from his injuries.
Now, the MotoGP world is suffering the loss of one of its members. Someone who was loved by all even if there were personality differences (which is normal). Someone who had so much potential and was seen as a rising MotoGP star. Marco Simoncelli, known as Sic, will be extremely missed. Ciao Sic!