Marco Simoncelli suffers second big Sepang crash

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Marco Simoncelli’s baptism of fire in MotoGP continued at the Sepang circuit today after the Italian suffered a second massive high-side crash in three weeks at the Malaysia venue.

The former 250GP world champion was on only his third lap of the morning session when he crashed heavily accelerating out of a fast right-hander.

Early reports suggested the impact was so big that the San Carlo Gresini Honda rider’s helmet cracked, which was later confirmed by circuit officials.

He was reportedly dazed and confused at the scene but was taken by ambulance to hospital in Kuala Lumpur for precautionary head scans.

Simoncelli was given the all-clear and returned to the circuit later in the day before confirming he would be allowed to fly back to Europe tonight.

The latest crash is another massive setback for the former Gilera 250GP rider who has struggled so far to make the transition to MotoGP.

He was lucky to escape serious injury in Sepang earlier this month when he high-sided out at Turn 4 in an exact replica of James Toseland’s high-side during the 2009 pre-season testing campaign.

Many expected Simoncelli to be a podium dark horse in 2010, but he has found the switch to Honda’s RC212V machine much tougher than anticipated.

He was only 16th quickest at the first Sepang test in early February and yesterday (Thursday) he endured a torrid time.

He finished slowest by some way and was 0.7s off next best rider Randy de Puniet on the LCR Honda.

Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt