Marco Simoncelli (20 January 1987-23 October 2011, also known as 'SuperSic', was an Italian motorcycle racer who, in my opinion would undoubtedly have been a future World Champion of GP Road Racing.

This is my small tribute to this charismatic racer, most of which I created just after his death. I hope it brings back some happy memories for you too.

A painting by Peter Holdsworth
"He was in his prime and I definitely believe he would have been a threat to the World Championship next year"

Steve Parrish
* 1987, January: Born Cattolica, Italy
* 2002: Wins the European 125cc title
* 2008, June: Wins his first 250cc race at the Italian GP
* 2008, October: Wins the 250cc World Championship
* 2009: Finishes third in the 250cc World Championship
* 2010: Moves up to MotoGP class riding for Honda
* 2011, June: Claims first MotoGP pole at Catalunya GP
* 2011, August: First podium finish at Czech Republic GP
* 2011, October: Second place at Australian GP

Motorcycle racing is very dangerous but nowadays we are not used to people dying because circuits are much safer and protective equipment is much better.

Sadly in this situation, instead of careering off into the big run-off areas and gravel traps that are designed to collect mortorcycles crashing, it appeared the bike Simoncelli was riding veered back into the path of the following riders, American Colin Edwards and Italian Valentino Rossi.

Edwards's bike ran cleanly into Simoncelli's machine and Rossi just caught the edge of the accident.

I don't think any of the riders were sure of what was happening around them but one of those bikes unfortunately hit the back of Simoncelli's head, which took his helmet off.

Neither Valentino or Colin have spoken about the crash and I don't think either will be speaking about it for a long time.

Clearly his helmet came off, which is very unusual, and it had to have been a huge impact for that to happen.

At that point I think we all knew it was a serious accident. The helmet is the most important piece of any protective clothing - and if you lose that you're very vulnerable.

Marco was reported to be conscious in the medical centre in the early stages but, unfortunately, he succumbed to the injuries approximately 15 minutes afterwards. That was when we were informed that he had died.
There's nothing you can do about this kind of accident, when one bike crashes into another.

We sadly had the death last year at San Marino of Japanese rider Shoya Tomizawa in Moto2 but, unfortunately, it doesn't matter how safe you make the circuit. When you ride motorcycles at high speed, accidents can happen.

The riders don't ignore it but everyone knows it - and that's why they race. They know it's a very dangerous sport but they receive huge amounts of fun, excitement and adrenaline from doing it. That's what starts people riding motorcycles in the first place, they get a huge thrill from it.

But it doesn't take away from the fact that it is a tragic loss to the sport because Marco Simoncelli, in my opinion, was going to be one of the greats in the future.

He had huge amounts of talent having been 250cc world champion previously. He was at his prime and had just signed a contract to ride a factory Honda again next year.

I know he was ecstatic about the fact he would continue his relationship with Honda - and I definitely believe he would have been a threat to the World Championship next year.

(Steve Parrish was talking to BBC Sport's Karen Fazackerley)
Image by Hendrikdj1
A Photo Tribute
Image by Luca Proietti
Image by Luca Proietti
Image by Momoli Luca
Image by Andrea Bonassi

"Marco was flamboyant on and off the track. When someone dies, everyone always says they loved life. But he had a very vibrant personality. He already had a huge fanbase around the world, partly down to aggressive riding - but also because he was just a cool guy. He didn't take himself too seriously and would have been a big star for next year."

Matt Roberts BBC MotoGP presenter
Race Direction Press Conference Seprang: Marco Simoncelli
Paul Butler opened the press conference, saying: “The purpose of this press conference is to apprise you of the circumstances that resulted in the tragic death of Marco Simoncelli. You know who we all are, the Race Direction; Claude Danis who is the FIM representative, Javier Alonso the Dorna representative, Franco Uncini the riders’ representative, and I’m Paul Butler the IRTA representative and Race Director. Michele Macchiagodena is our Medical Director and he will explain to you the circumstances that resulted in this death.”

Michele Macchiagodena said: “I’m very sad to be here to report about the death of Marco Simoncelli, a friend. Because of the crash he had during the race, in which he was hit by other riders, he suffered a very serious trauma to the head, to the neck and the chest. When our medical staff got to him he was unconscious. In the ambulance because there was a cardiac arrest they started CPR (cardiac pulmonary resuscitation). Immediately in the Medical Centre, with the help also of the Doctor of our staff at the Clinica Mobile and local Doctors, he was incubated and it was possible to take off some blood from the thorax. The CPR was continued for 45 minutes because we tried to help him for as long as we thought it was possible. Unfortunately it was not possible to help him and at 16:56 (local time) we had to declare he was dead.”

Paul Butler responded to a question about Marco Simoncelli’s helmet coming off in the crash by saying: “I think if I may reply, that will be for another occasion. Quite clearly the consequences and circumstances surrounding the accident will be thoroughly investigated.”

Answering a question about the condition of Colin Edwards, who was involved in the incident, Michele Macchiagodena said: “He had a dislocation of the shoulder and with anaesthesia the shoulder now is in the correct position. He is fine.”

Paul Butler concluded the press conference by adding: “Our sympathies go to his family and we want to show every respect possible to Marco.”
Ciao Marco
To watch all 4 parts, double click image (not play button) to go to You Tube then click the links in the bottom right corner of the You Tube screen