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Posted By: James Allen  |  22 Mar 2012   |  2:46 pm GMT  |  21 comments

As the paddock went about its usual work on the opening day of a grand prix weekend at Sepang on Thursday, there was also time for reflection as several drivers made poignant trips to the circuit’s turn 11 to pay tribute to Italian rider Marco Simoncelli, who was killed at the corner during the MotoGP race there last October.

The Italian was considered one of the most exciting and charismatic riders on two wheels but his life was tragically cut short at the age of 24 when during the penultimate round of the MotoGP season in Malaysia he died following a horrific accident in which he fell from his bike and was hit by two other riders, which knocked his crash helmet off.

As an iconic star of Italian motorsport, his death was felt deeply at Ferrari and on Thursday Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa went down to turn 11 to pay their respects to Simoncelli, while Red Bull’s Mark Webber also made his own private trip to the corner.

The two Ferrari drivers and their respective team members posed for a picture with a pit board displaying the number 58 the Italian carried on his Honda and the message ‘sempre con noi’ which translates as ‘forever with us’.

Speaking in the Thursday press conference, Alonso said: “We did one picture this afternoon, Felipe and me and members of the team in Turn 11, where the accident happened and I think that will be the memory for him, and the whole Ferrari family and the Italian people will remember him always and that’s the most important thing.” Some of the Spaniard’s key career milestones have come at Sepang – first pole and podium finish in 2003 – and he has twice won the race, but he admits that “at the same time, after the accident of Marco last year racing here will be always sad, a little bit, knowing that one of our colleagues died here. It will be always difficult to race.”

Massa is hoping he can deliver a good performance this weekend in order to pay a fitting tribute to Simoncelli: “What happened last October was a tragic accident and I think around the world, not just in Italy, his loss was felt,” stated Felipe. “However, we are here to race and to do our job and this is not the only race track where bad things have happened. If possible it would be nice to think that, on Sunday, I could have a good race in his memory.”

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21 Comments
  1. Ant says:

    Legend – always with us #SIC58

  2. zombie says:

    You’ll forever be missed “Super Sic”. I wouldn’t be too surprised if you are setting some spectacular laptimes around the pearly gates circuit! Rest in peace No.58!

  3. Panya says:

    MS – rest in peace.

    Good luck Fernando and Felipe !!

  4. UncleZen says:

    Nice tribute. Marco was a great rider.
    It would have been nicer if more of the team had turned out though.

  5. Jaimes Andrew says:

    Every motorsports Fans missing Marco Simoncelli the young, pay a tribute!

    More photos added there – Thursday in Malaysian GP
    http://www.formula1onlive.com/2012/03/2012-latest-f1-photos-thursday-in_22.html

  6. Horno says:

    JA! Respect that u have paid tribute to this happening!

  7. glenn says:

    RIP Marco

  8. Mark says:

    What a sad loss to motor sport. A true character with supreme talent.

    Ciao Marco

  9. Andrew says:

    Such an amazing rider. The heavier bikes this year would have suited him too.

  10. db4tim says:

    Nice to read people still care…-

  11. Doohan says:

    R.I.P Marco, a terrible loss for the paddock of Motogp and Motorsport.
    It’s good to see the likes of Alonso, Massa & Webber paying their respects.

  12. jay jacob says:

    Tragic loss to motorsport! May he rest in peace.

  13. DK says:

    Sic transit gloria mundi

  14. AussieWoZ says:

    A poignant reminder that these blokes put their life on the line every time they go racing.

    RIP Marco, we miss you :(

  15. Matt (the vote counter) says:

    I’ll never forget the feeling when I found out that we’d lost Marco.

    The death of any human being is sad but for life to be extinguished in its prime like that and for history to be robbed of what was a precocious talent and by all accounts, a beautiful person, is just heart-breaking.

    It reminds me to savour every minute and celebrate the talent we get to see flourish.

    Long live Super Sic 58 in the hearts and minds of all who followed him.

  16. BobbyT says:

    It also goes to show that Mark Webber is a genuine human and a first class bloke

  17. Brunom says:

    Great respect to Fernando, Fellipe and Mark for remembering Marco Simoncelli, in such a way.

    No words can adequately express how the loss of such a great talent and an enormously popular man, can have on people.

    He will live on forever in our minds, as he drags around Heaven on 2 wheels, and I hope the foundation set up in his name flourishes in the future.

    Ciao Marco, Bruno

  18. John H. says:

    I love MotoGP and was thrilled to see Marco race. The loss of this extraordinary talent is truly tragic. He expressed a love for racing that was inspiring. He’ll live on in our memories…

  19. Brunom says:

    Well, Fernando’s wish came true !!

    Someone is looking down.

    Bruno

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