Italian rider Marco Simoncelli has died after a horrific crash at the Malaysian MotoGP in Sepang.
The race was stopped after four minutes when Simoncelli’s bike veered across the track at turn 11 into the path of Colin Edwards and Valentino Rossi.
The 24-year-old had his helmet knocked off and was hit by both other riders.
American rider Edwards also fell but escaped serious injury – while fellow Italian Rossi was able to return to the pits.
Simoncelli lay motionless on the track after the impact, while the race was immediately red-flagged.
At first officials were looking to restart the race before the extent of Simoncelli’s injuries became clear.
R.I.P Marco Simoncelli
MARCO SIMONCELLI FACTFILE
1987: Born in Cattolica, Italy on January 20.
1996: Runner-up in the Italian Minimoto Championship.
1999: Champion of the Italian Minimoto Championship.
2000: Claims a back-to-back title in the Italian Minimoto Championship and is runner-up in the European Minimoto Championship.
2001: Moves up to the the Italian 125cc Championship and wins the title in his rookie year.
2002: Wins the European 125cc title.
2003: Takes part in his first full season in the 125cc World Championship with the Matteoni Racing team.
2004: Joins the Rauch Bravo team and wins his first Grand Prix at a rain-soaked Jerez.
2005: Completes another 125cc campaign with the Nocable.it Race team and finishes fifth in the final standings.
2006: Moves up to the 250cc class riding for Gilera. Finishes the season in 10th overall with a sixth place finish at the Chinese Grand Prix his best result.
2008: June – Wins his first 250cc race at the Italian GP in Mugello in controversial circumstances when Hector Barbera crashed into him after Simoncelli appeared to try to block him off.
October – Wins the 250cc World Championship after a successful season with Gilera with a third place finish in the Malaysian Grand Prix at Sepang.
2009: Finishes third overall in the 250cc World Championship behind Japan’s Hiroshi Aoyama and Spain’s Barbera.
2010: Moves up to ride in his debut MotoGP season for Honda. Finishes 16 of the 18 races en route to eighth place in the championship.
2011: May – Collides with Dani Pedrosa while battling for second in the French GP. The resulting crash saw Pedrosa break his collarbone and Simoncelli receive a ride-through penalty, eventually finishing fifth. Simoncelli accepted he needed to re-evaluate his driving style and at times be more cautious.
June – Claims his first MotoGP pole at the Catalan GP but a poor start resulted in a sixth placed finish.
October 23 – Killed in a crash during the Malaysian GP in Sepang.
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