Marco Simoncelli To Be Named a “MotoGP Legend”

02/03/2014 @ 1:00 pm, by Jensen Beeler19 COMMENTS


The MotoGP Championship is in Sepang this week, for the first of its pre-season tests ahead of the 2014 season. Making an announcement at the site where Marco Simoncelli tragically lost his life during the Malaysian Grand Prix back in 2011, MotoGP has come up with a fitting way to tribute the popular Italian rider.

Simoncelli will thus join Grand Prix racing’s hall of fame, and officially become a “MotoGP Legend” — the 21st rider to receive the sport’s high honor — with a ceremony that will be held at the Italian Grand Prix in Mugello.

Marco Simoncelli’s introduction as a MotoGP Legend means he will join the ranks of Giacomo Agostini, Mick Doohan, Geoff Duke, Wayne Gardner, Mike Hailwood, Daijiro Kato, Eddie Lawson, Anton Mang, Angel Nieto, Wayne Rainey, Phil Read, Jim Redman, Kenny Roberts, Jarno Saarinen, Kevin Schwantz, Barry Sheene, Freddie Spencer, John Surtees, Casey Stoner, and Carlo Ubbiali in this great recognition from our sport.

Source: Dorna; Photo: © 2011 Scott Jones / Scott Jones Photography – All Rights Reserved

  • Chaz Michael Michaels

    I loved Simoncelli. I loved the way he rode, his crazy afro, the way he cheezed off the really talented riders (Lorenzo). …I hate to be a wet blanket, but Simoncelli was a fan favorite and he was big on ballz but he wasn’t on his way to becoming a legend. He was on the level of a Bradl or Bautista or maybe a Crutchlow in terms of talent.

    He gave his life to the sport and there should be a special place for him. Not sure the HOF is that place.

  • crshnbrn

    “He gave his life to the sport and there should be a special place for him.” Of that there is no doubt.

    “Not sure the HOF is that place.” It is too bad he didn’t have the opportunity to prove it is.

  • Smitch

    I agree with Chaz. I’ve argued with friends that there seems to be this Simoncelli death cult. He seems more popular because he died. He was an interesting character and I think he was good for the sport, but he was not a legend.

  • paulus

    I am with the above… Legend is not warranted

  • ML

    I think he was on his way to become a legend in one form or another, but the tragic accident cut his life short.

    I am glad he will be honored and no, I’m not part of the death cult. That’s somewhat silly….

  • tonifumi

    Oh, come on! A tragic death – certainly, a future Motogp champion – maybe, a Motogp legend – NO.

  • L2C

    Well, he is a MotoGP legend. Of that there can be no doubt. Not in the same way as Agostini or Stoner, but in his own way. For whatever reason, or however it happened, he captured the imagination of legions of fans, the media, as well as his competitors. This qualifies. Therefore his place in the Hall of Fame is completely appropriate.

    A personality cult is a basic requirement of legendary status. All of the MotoGP Legends have one. The votes are simply in Marco Simoncelli’s favor, in addition to his World Champion Status. There is no reasonable way to argue against his induction. Besides, I happen to agree with this final measure of honoring him and letting him go. It is deserving of his memory. His memory, which of course, we now hold.

  • L2C

    And anyway, what is it about “Hall of Fame” or “Legend” that’s so hard to understand?

    Pedantic? Maybe. But *Fame* and *Legend* are the two titles that Marco claimed while he was alive and well. His third title, the 250 Champion, is almost beside the point of how most people perceived him.

    Again, his induction is completely appropriate. And, again, I happen to agree with it.

  • Damn

    wrong just wrong. nice rider with charisma but absolutely no legend. but that was the same for stoner. a 2 times champ and LEGEND!! maybe next you can become legend not even winning the title!!! oh damn that just happend!!! maybe i can become legend to by watching motogp

  • L2C

    He’s a legend because you’re sitting there writing about him and saying that he isn’t one. You think a legend is unanimous? That’s where you’re wrong. All legends are controversial.

    In other words, all legends are the same story told in countless different ways. Ask Jesus. Ask Mohammad. Ask Buddha.

    Marco may not have been your hero, but he is certainly now the stuff of legend. Whether you agree or not. His narrative has been spread far and wide — much of it by himself just living life how he saw fit. And here you are on a blog participating in a forum that exists for the sole purpose of extending his legend.

    Denial does not trump recognition. You cannot revoke your praises.

  • David

    These riders died racing 500cc Grand Prix (some in practise):

    Dave Bennett (UK),Ernie Ring (AUS),Dennis Lashmar (UK),Ricardo Galvagni (ARG)(practise),Adolfo Covi (ITA), Karl Recktenwald (GER), Christian Ravel (FRA), Patrick Pons (FRA), Iwao Ishikawa (JPN)(practise),Michel Frutschi (CH),Norman Brown (UK),Peter Huber (CH),Kevin Wrettom (UK)(practise),Daijiro Kato (JPN)

    Where do they fit in?

  • MrDefo

    So where’s Rossi? He’s a multiple season champion – and has a cult of personality. I haven’t done much research on it, but doesn’t he seem more deserving than Simoncelli? Or is it a requirement to die before you can be a legend? Micky Doohan’s still alive.

  • gene church

    who said you had to win championships . he was a champion in the making.

  • Chaz Michael Michaels

    I don’t think I ever saw anything in his short MotoGP career to suggest he was a champion in the making, let alone a legend in the making. He was barely hanging onto his ride with San Carlo Honda, he was fighting tooth and nail with Bautista. That wouldn’t suggest a championship is right around the corner or “in the making.” He was a great character. Would he have one day been a champion? maybe… but honestly, probably not.

    Another thing, I would contend his riding style wasn’t condusive to becoming a champion. He was reckless. Let’s just call it like it was. Pedrosa and Lorenzo complained about it (rightfully) during that fateful season and certainly others felt the same. Before anyone suggests “well so was Marquez.” Marquez is dominating the field and winning races and at a talent level that has him on a factory bike.

    Why does he have to be crowned a legend anyway? Why can’t he just be remembered for exactly as he was? I’m forever his fan regardless.

  • Peter G

    He wasn’t a ” legend ” in my opinion… Just a reckless rider.

  • crshnbrn

    @ Mr Defo,

    It is more common for people to be inducted into a Hall Of Fame after they retire than it is while they are still actively engaged in whatever pursuits they are recognized for. Rossi will be inducted in due time.

    I hate to say it, but sometimes it seems as if inductions such as this are more generously awarded posthumously. Someone who gives their life to something is honored, while somone who doesn’t yet achieves greater success is not recognized. It is unfortunate that this post is not over whether his accomplishments during a lengthy MotoGP career warranted being inducted into the Hall Of Fame instead of if it is a fitting way to honor his life.

  • rt

    This seems like some PR move. He was fast and capable of winning races but nowhere close to aliens or winning championships. This is very bad.

  • Phil

    It’s a hard one. I like that guy a lot and had him down for Motogp wins in his second year. All he needed was one year to get to grips with the bike ( like most do ) and he’s going to scare the pants off the lot of the Aliens. But sadly that never happened.

    Yes other riders have died but it’s really down to the organisers to decide who goes in and who stays out.

    “There is no right or wrong. I guess it’s a question of who you can relate to”

  • Gutterslob

    The late Daijiro Kato – popular, very fast, 250cc champion – is on that list as well, so it’s not entirely unprecedented to include Simoncelli, I suppose.