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View Full Version : Moto GP racer Marco Simoncelli killed this morning at Malaysian GP.



Farndurk
10-23-2011, 12:54 PM
I was watching the Malaysian GP last night on a live broadcast at 1am. The race started and two laps into it Simoncelli lost traction on the front rire and went down pretty easily, all alone. In his attempts to right the bike and remount it at around 100mph his front tire grabbed a little traction and sortof dragged him and his bike back across the racing line. Collin Edwards and Valentino Rossi had nowhere to go and they collided with Simoncelli, with Edwards hitting Simoncelli's body pretty squarely.

The producers of the TV broadcast weren't aware of the intensity of the situation at first and during the slow-motion replay you could see *someone's* helmet bouncing across the infield grass. That was the first clue that the crash was worse than first expected. The next shot was Simoncelli lying on the track face down, no helmet, arms extended way out in front of him. He wasn't moving.

Rossi rode back to the pits, so I knew he was ok. Edwards was taken to Medical and was released, so he was ok. But Simoncelli was still in the medical trailer. All bikes were called back into the pits, and were shut down. Nearly 70k people went silent for a few minutes .. it was pretty eerie. Suddenly it was announced that the GP was cancelled and everyone was to go home. No announcement of Simoncelli's condition was made, but it was pretty obvious what was up. About 45 minutes later it was announced that 24 year old Marco Simoncelli had lost his life.

He had received a lot of criticism from various people about his racing style, and the aggressiveness with which he passed other riders. He always replied with the same response to that accusation ... "it it racing" was pretty much what he was all about. I personally loved his racing style ... you just ~knew~ what was coming when he'd swing out wide entering a corner as he put on an outside pass while shutting the door on whomever he just passed on the outside. His racing line would cross the other rider's line which would force the other rider to back off a teensy bit, "giving the pass" to Simoncelli. This was his "move" and it was just beautiful. Other riders as well as magazine and internet journalists used to slam him for that passing method of his, but hey .. it worked! And you knew it's what he would do as soon as you saw him swing out wide at a corner's entrance. He'd late-apex and slam the door on the rider he just passed. Classic.

I'll miss you Marco. I hope you knew no pain of fear in your passing.

Marco Simoncelli. 1987 - 2011.............. .......... ..... ... .

:(

He left us too soon. On the heels of Dan Wheldon's death in Las Vegas last Sunday, the racing world has taken a few hard slugs over the past week or so.

vpt
10-23-2011, 12:58 PM
It happens.

Farndurk
10-23-2011, 01:02 PM
It happens.
Really? Hadn't noticed.

becksmachine
10-23-2011, 01:06 PM
There are old pilots,
there are bold pilots,
etc.

That fellow at the Reno air races would seem to be an exception?

Dave

dp
10-23-2011, 01:27 PM
Sounds like his riding style was similar to Bart Markel. Sometimes known as Black Bart, he rode an unusual line that crossed the lines of other riders. Once in a while he'd nerf a guy out of his way. He was entertaining as hell to watch.

MrSleepy
10-23-2011, 01:57 PM
Yes Very Sad.. Especially after Dan Wheldon last week.

I watched the footage live this morning..

After watching that coverage..and a few youtube vids.. I wouldnt be surprised if he'd been unconscious , or had a cardiac problem (the track doctors reported cardiac failure at the scene) or such like before the final accident with the other two.

If you watch coverage prior to the accident..he slumps after losing control in the corner..then his unbalanced weight and momentum make him veer across into the path of the others. At no point does he move to correct veering before the collision.


Rob

shawnspeed
10-23-2011, 01:58 PM
Sad, but it does happen. I have a friend here in town that his son races AMA supersport & is also racing in europe, Started his season with a crash on the last lap of the Daytona 200, and finished the AMA season with a crash as well, both inedents were without injury, not a scrape , not a bruse, wasn't even sore the next day...All I can do is hope he continues to have this kind of luck , but all of us know the odds are not in his favor, and he knows this as well. He continues to race , because it is what he does, and dosen't want to do anything else ,just yet...we continue to support him because he is doing what he loves, and that is all anybody wants...Godspeed Marco...


Oh and Markelman AKA Black Bart was a heck of a nice guy off track , but he was very focused on whatever he set his mind too, and if you got in the way , so be it , be prepared for a fight....Shawn

Farndurk
10-23-2011, 02:10 PM
Sounds like his riding style was similar to Bart Markel. Sometimes known as Black Bart, he rode an unusual line that crossed the lines of other riders. Once in a while he'd nerf a guy out of his way. He was entertaining as hell to watch.
I watched my stepdad race with Markel on several occassions, and you're right .. he was quite a thrill to watch! Especially at tracks like Ascot (we lived 20 minutes from there in the early 1970s). We were at Ascot nearly every Friday night back then. That track was incredible, and it had a bit of a bite to it sometimes. I saw it take two riders by the time I was 15. I can still see Ivan Shigamesa's fall so clearly. He seemed to go as quickly as Simoncelli did .. nearly instantly.

It's just a shame to see Simoncelli go. And as was mentioned the Reno pilot too. I was into experimental aviation in the 90's and was very much into air racing at that time (we were building a Long-EZ and had the plans and ambitions to get into a Cozy MK4 as well. We'd helped a friend build his Lancair IO360 and got bit by the bug. Money was the shortcoming in our case). That pilot was exactly who you'd want at the stick in that situation. His age was criticized by the ignorant. I'll tell ya, I'd rather be in a small plane with a 70-something experienced pilot than a younger lesser experienced one any day. Look at the commuter plane that went down in the east coast not long ago that killed all 50-odd people on board. Cause? Incorrect inputs by inexperienced pilots (so sayeth the NTSB). That older air racer probably made a more noble choice than a younger one may have made.

To acknowlege Simoncelli is not to take anything away from the others that have been lost this year to the dangers of their passions. Motorcycle racing and the humans involved in it are just close to the heart in my case. Thx.

Farndurk
10-23-2011, 02:23 PM
Yes Very Sad.. Especially after Dan Wheldon last week.

I watched the footage live this morning..

After watching that coverage..and a few youtube vids.. I wouldnt be surprised if he'd been unconscious , or had a cardiac problem (the track doctors reported cardiac failure at the scene) or such like before the final accident with the other two.

If you watch coverage prior to the accident..he slumps after losing control in the corner..then his unbalanced weight and momentum make him veer across into the path of the others. At no point does he move to correct veering before the collision.


Rob
NO KIDDIN!! Wow! I get it! I've watched that fall a dozen times myself by now and what you say makes a crapload of sense!! I think you may be right!

Well, in any case .. it just sucks man. I keep wondering what must be going through Collin Edwards' head. I used to be a streetcop in L.A. back in the late 80's-early 90's. Feeling responsible for the death of someone you knew isn't easy to deal with for some people, even if it wasn't any fault of your own it's still this monster that can haunt you in the middle of the night.

I think what gets to a lot of riders is that Simoncelli's death is every racer's worst nightmare .. an on-track collision. So it's difficult to try to be (or act) insensitive about it for some folks. The "it happens" attititude is how some people deal with things like this, others prefer to discuss it and face it for what it is ... our fragility and the willingness some of us have to risk that fragility for the things we find ourselves passionate about. It's not something everyone agrees on. It would seem everyone has their own ways of reconciling death.

Thanks.

Farndurk
10-23-2011, 02:25 PM
Sad, but it does happen. I have a friend here in town that his son races AMA supersport & is also racing in europe, Started his season with a crash on the last lap of the Daytona 200, and finished the AMA season with a crash as well, both inedents were without injury, not a scrape , not a bruse, wasn't even sore the next day...All I can do is hope he continues to have this kind of luck , but all of us know the odds are not in his favor, and he knows this as well. He continues to race , because it is what he does, and dosen't want to do anything else ,just yet...we continue to support him because he is doing what he loves, and that is all anybody wants...Godspeed Marco...


Oh and Markelman AKA Black Bart was a heck of a nice guy off track , but he was very focused on whatever he set his mind too, and if you got in the way , so be it , be prepared for a fight....Shawn
Westby or Knapp?

EDIT: Nevermind ... I just caught the "supersport" ... woops. :)

shawnspeed
10-23-2011, 09:53 PM
Farndurk....Knapp...Built a few of his firsts race bikes a PW 50 for the indoor Ice race to be specific...Shawn

PixMan
10-23-2011, 10:57 PM
Pretty sad news indeed. I have to agree that after watching the video several times it does appear that Marco may have had some kind of medical problem just before his bike crossed the racing line with him seemingly hanging off the front of his bike. Perhaps he never felt any impact. May God rest his soul.

From 2003 through 2006 (and part of 2007) I was a photographer at what was then known as New Hampshire INternational Speedway. Two incidents I was there to see come to mind.

One, a privateer racer who was among many who did all the work on their own bikes had replaced the front brake pads on his Ducati 996 after morning practice. Unfortunately, he failed to replace the little retaining clip on one side that retains the brake pad keeper pin. On the first lap of his superbike race, he got through Turn 1, Turn 1A and Turn 2. As he applied the brakes from full throttle coming into Turn 2A, the brake pads on the right hand caliper ejected and he sailed through the tire wall and over the Jersey barriers that stopped his bike. He didn't make it. :(

Another time there was a not-so uncommon crash on the Turn 2 hairpin during a Production Twins or Lightweight Superbike race (I don't really recall exactly.) It's a blind turn coming from the infield back out onto T2 of the NASCAR track. Several bikes and riders spilled all over the track, and yellow flags started flying in T1.

A couple of cornerworkers went out to get a bike off the racing line. As one of them was lifting the bike, a racer passed within inches, but the guy behind him didn't have time to react and that rider hit the cornerworker square. He's still alive, but disabled for life. At least he still gets to see his kids every day.

I'd often wanted to get out on the track for racing myself. I've done 6 or 7 track days, and even rented that track twice to host my own "Triumph Track Day". Track days have far slower speeds (mostly) and far mre rulles about passing. After those incidents I dashed any thoughts about running around at full speed for a little plastic trophy and bragging rights that meant little or nothing beyond the fence out there.

RIP Marco and Dan

BTW, I've met Steve Knapp a couple of times, back when he had factory rides. Really nice guy, he signed my youngest boy's T-shirt, along with both Eric and Ben Bostrum, Nicky, Tommy and Roger Lee Hayden, Miguel Duhamel and his dad Yvon, Colin Edwards, Aaron Gobert, Jason and dad Reg Pridmore and even the "Mr. Personality" Mat Mladin. Steve, Miguel and Eric Bostrum were the nicest guys who took time to talk with my son. Mladin acted truly bothered by my son, who was just 11 years old then.

jackary
10-24-2011, 05:59 AM
It has cast a dark shadow over Moto GP he will be sadly missed
Alan

Rustybolt
10-24-2011, 03:45 PM
The vast majority of us will leave this world hardly knowing our own names,in a drugged out fog, in a roomful of grasping relatives. One last poop and a belch and and they put the pennies on our eyes.
At least he went out doing what he loved. In the prime of his life at the top of his game.

Alistair Hosie
10-24-2011, 06:07 PM
It's always sad when a young life is ended this way, but I get a little irritated whan people push their chances beyong the elastic limit then everyone gets astounded when they lose their lives.If you strap yourself into a bomb which is what's happening with high octane fuel + speeds of over 200 mph and push your self to very dangerous limits when every second is potentially survival or the end of life . I am one that is not surprised when things end this way .Just like those who free fall of buildings and cliffs you will DIE if you keep gambling this way.I am though sorry for him and his family despite this. But why are we so surprised when such people die.Every second you do these things after all your just basically gambling with your life for reward be it money or fame sorry I am not a bit surprised when this happens.I think it is foolhardy to gamble with your life in this way sorry my 2 cents. Alistair