Marco Simoncelli Tribute
Following the saddening news Sunday that Marco Simoncelli died after a MotoGP crash at Sepang, the tributes on social media were endless, showing the passion instilled in MotoGP.
At the time of this report, the details of Simoncelli's tragic Sepang crash are under investigation. UltimateMotorCycling.com will feature a full-report as soon as the news becomes available.
To many, the Italian was a motorcycle-racing hero, and will be remembered not only for his huge hair, but his feats in World Championship racing.
Following is a biography of a true MotoGP hero - Super Sic Marco Simoncelli.
Marco Simoncelli Bio
The 24-year-old Marco entered his first season in MotoGP aboard the San Carlo Honda Gresini RC212V in 2010 having won 12 250cc races in his last two seasons in the class and with the 2008 title in his trophy cabinet.
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
- 2010: 8th MotoGP - Honda
- 2011: MotoGP - Honda, 139 points
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.
In 2010, Simoncelli made the big step up to the premier class with Team San Carlo Honda Gresini as he contested his rookie season in the MotoGP World Championship. His best finish of the season was fourth at Portugal.
In 2011, Simoncelli also competed on the San Carlo Honda, with his best finishes being two podiums - a third at the Czech Republic GP, and second at the Australian Grand Prix.