Immediately following the tragic death of Marco Simoncelli, Fausto Gresini of the San Carlo Honda Gresini team was quoted saying that he wasn’t sure if his team could finish the Championship in Valencia without Simoncelli. With an outpouring of fans at Simoncelli’s funeral, and words of encouragement from around the world, the Italian team has decided that it will honor Marco’s memory and race in Spain this weekend.
While the #58 bike will sit in the pit box in memorial, Hiroshi Aoyama will ride the lone Honda RC212V for the Gresini team at the Valencian GP. Gresini’s Moto2 riders Michele Pirro and Yuki Takahashi will also race, as the trio will try to honor their teammate’s memory.
With a memorial of some kind expected at the Spanish track, it has been suggested by Marco’s father Paolo Simoncelli that the customary minute of silence be substituted with a minute of noise, with all the bikes in the GP paddock rev’d to life to honor the fallen Italian rider. Celebrating life instead of death, that idea seems like a fitting one to us.
“The decision to participate was not an easy one, but we have made this choice as it is what Marco would have wanted,” said Team Boss Fausto Gresini. “Going out on track at Valencia is definitely the best way to honour him by doing what he most loved to do: Ride and experience the world of MotoGP. This is why I believe that the best show of affection that we can make to Marco is by lining up our teams and riders for this race. ‘Super Sic’ will be present in the hearts of Hiroshi Aoyama, Michele Pirro and Yuki Takahashi, and I am sure that they will give him a most fitting tribute with their performances on Sunday.”
Source: Gresini Racing; Photo: © 2011 Scott Jones Photography – All Rights Reserved