After a tragic accident involving Marco Simoncelli, Colin Edwards, and Valentino Rossi, MotoGP has decided not to resume the Malaysian GP. The decision came down as Marco Simoncelli battled for his life at the track-side medical center, with Race Direction stating that it would be inappropriate to restart the race while Simoncelli was in such a precarious position medically. Succumbing to his injuries shortly after the cancellation was announced, heartbreak swept the paddock with the news that Marco Simoncelli died at the age of 24.
The Malaysian GP managed less than two full laps before the tragic incident occurred, which saw the San Carlo Gresini Honda rider lose the front-end of his motorcycle while keeping the bike upright with his knee. Off-balance and off the saddle, Simoncelli and his Honda RC212V cut back across the track near Turn 11, right in front of Colin Edwards and Valentino Rossi. With nowhere to go, Edwards locked up the front of his Yamaha race bike, nearly crashing in the process, and unfortunately collided with Simoncelli. Valentino Rossi also made contact with his fellow Italian, a force so brutal it dislodged Simoncelli‘s helmet from his head.
Taking the brunt of the impacts, Simoncelli lay unconscious in the middle of the circuit, while Colin Edwards crashed off the track grasping his arm and hand (Monster Tech 3 Yamaha has announced that Edwards has dislocated his shoulder). Rossi was able to keep his Ducati upright, and ride back into the pits. With the race immediately red-flagged, Simoncelli was driven by ambulance to the circuit medical center, where he was initially said to be conscious but critical in his condition. Choosing to cancel the day’s race because of the horrific accident, MotoGP soon after lost one of its biggest personalities and rising stars, as Marco Simoncelli succumb to his injuries at 4:56pm local time.
Making a statement about the accident, Medical Director Michele Macchiagodena stated the following:
“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 intubated 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.”
The news has hit the MotoGP paddock, with riders and teams pouring out their sympathies for Marco’s family, friends, loved ones, and teammates. The second to last race of the season, the Malaysian GP will surely carry a dark cloud to Valencia, as MotoGP‘s final race of the season is in two weeks’ time. Godspeed Marco. You will be missed, and motorcycle racing is the lesser because of your absence.
Source: MotoGP; Photo: © 2011 Scott Jones Photography – All Rights Reserved