Marco Simoncelli made his debut in the Italian Minimoto Championship at the age of nine, winning back-to-back titles in 1999 and 2000. In 2001 he competed in the 125cc Honda Trophy and in 2002 he was crowned 125cc European Champion. He made his 125cc World Championship debut that same season, finishing 13th as a wildcard at Estoril.
In 2003 he contested his first full season of Grand Prix racing with the Matteoni Racing Team, scoring points in six races and picking up a best result of fourth in the final round at Valencia.
The following season he wore the colors of the World Wide Race team and scored some notable results, picking up two pole positions and taking victory in a wet race at Jerez. However, a series of crashes and bad luck left him outside the top ten in the championship at the end of the season.
Having stayed with the same team for 2005 he improved his consistency to finish fifth in the championship, picking up six podiums and a victory. His performances earned him a move to the 250cc class with Squadra Corse Metis Gilera for 2006, consolidating his first season in the quarter-liter class with tenth place overall – a result he repeated in 2007.
Despite not having a factory bike for 2008 Simoncelli’s first 250cc podiums arrived early in the season and his debut victory came in his home race at Mugello. Having established his title credentials over the opening nine races of the season Gilera decided to provide him with a factory 250 RSA for the remainder of the campaign.
Simoncelli proved unstoppable on the new bike, adding another four victories to the two he already had and wrapping up the championship with a race to spare, clinching the title with third place in Malaysia.
The Cattolica native stayed with Metis Gilera to defend his title in 2009 but bad luck returned to haunt him once more. He again took victory in six of the races but a series of crashes and mechanical problems seriously hindered his progress. However, he kept the title fight alive until the final round at Valencia, where another crash left him third overall.
This year Simoncelli makes the big step up to the premier class with Team San Carlo Honda Gresini as he contests his rookie season in the MotoGP World Championship.
Marco Simoncelli Bio
23-year-old Marco enters his first season in MotoGP having won 12 250cc races in his last 2 seasons in the class and with the 2008 title in his trophy cabinet. Racing for San Carlo Honda Gresini he’s tipped to be a strong prospect for a factory ride in 2011 such is his meteoric rise through the sport. Marco won his first 125cc race in Jerez 2004 before making the jump to 250s soon after in 2006 before he stole the headlines in 2008 and 2009.
Date of birth: 20th January 1987 in Cattolica, Italy
Marital status: Single
Racing number: 58
2000: 1st Italian Minibike Championship
2001: 125cc Honda Trophy
2002: 1st 125cc European Championship
2003: 21st 125cc World Championship – Aprilia
2004: 11th 125cc World Championship – Aprilia
2005: 5th 125cc World Championship – Aprilia
2006: 10th 250cc World Championship – Gilera
2007: 10th 250cc World Championship – Gilera
2008: 1st 250cc World Championship – Gilera
2009: 3rd 250cc World Championship – Gilera