MotoGP mourns Marco Simoncelli at Italian star’s funeral

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MotoGP stars past and present have attended the funeral of Italian star Marco Simoncelli, who died from injuries sustained in last weekend’s Malaysian Grand Prix at Sepang.

Valentino Rossi, Loris Capirossi, Jorge Lorenzo, Andrea Dovizioso, Hiroshi Aoyama, Mattia Pasini and Raffaele de Rosa all attended the service at the church of Santa Maria Assunta in Coriano today.

Italian legend Giacomo Agostini was also present, with HRC represented by Vice-President Shuhei Nakamoto and Livio Suppo. Agostini and Capirossi in tears while a sombre Rossi applauded as the 24-year-old’s San Carlo Gresini Honda crew carried his coffin into church.

Senior Ducati Corse management including Claudio Domenicali, Filippo Preziosi and Vittoriano Guareschi also attended the funeral for Simoncelli, who lost his life after sustaining head, neck and chest injuries in a crash on the second lap of Sunday’s Sepang race.

Simoncelli lost control of his factory Honda RC212V at Turn 11 and was then struck by Colin Edwards and Rossi.

Dorna CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta and FIM president Vito Ippilito were also present for the service, which was watched by thousands of emotional fans on big TV screens in Coriano.

Simoncelli’s coffin was flanked by his Gresini Honda RC212V machine and the Gilera machine on which he won the 2008 250GP title. His distinctive red and white AGV helmet sat on top of his casket with a bouqet of white flowers.

Rossi wheeled out Simoncelli’s Honda MotoGP bike to the steps of the church when the service concluded, with Simoncelli’s father Paolo seen in an emotional embrace with his son’s team boss Fausto Gresini.

Before the coffin was carried into the chuch, large red balloons bearing Simoncelli’s race number 58 were released.

Pictures: Getty Images

Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt