Marco Simoncelli’s Funeral
Thousands were present Thursday at Marco Simoncelli’s funeral in the Santa Maria Assunta Church in Coriano, Italy, the 24-year-old Italian’s hometown.Simoncelli’s casket was carried into the church by friends and members of the San Carlo Honda Gresini team. On display next to the casket were two of Simoncelli’s machines: the Gilera motorcycle that he achieved the 2008 250cc title on, and his current San Carlo Honda Gresini RC212V.In attendance with Marco’s father Paolo, mother Rosella, sister Martina and girlfriend Kate, were many of Simoncelli’s MotoGP colleagues, including Valentino Rossi, Raffaele De Rosa, Chaz Davies, Mattia Pasini, Manuel Poggiali, Jorge Lorenzo, Andrea Dovizioso, Toni Elías, Randy de Puniet, Loris Capirossi, Hiroshi Aoyama, Simone Corsi, Giacomo Agostini, Yuki Takahashi, Alex de Angelis and Alex Crivile, 1999 500cc World Champion.Also in attendance was FIM President Vito Ippolito and CEO of Dorna Sports, Carmelo Ezpeleta.Speaking of the funeral, Carmelo Ezpeleta says: “What I experienced this afternoon in Coriano was very moving. After seeing the turnout of citizens, fans and the whole paddock there is no doubt that a great rider and a brilliant person has left us. The outpouring of affection that has been shown demonstrates that he has left his mark.“I was impressed by the courage of Marco’s family, and especially the strength of his father, Paolo, who was able to transmit his strength and energy to others. It has been extraordinary to see the MotoGP family come together for Marco Simoncelli. Despite the unfortunate loss, the tribute makes clear the immense affection that people had for him. We will never forget Marco.”Due to the more than 10,000 people mourning and the church filled to its 450-person capicity, a large video broadcast Simoncelli’s funeral outside the church, along with a large screen at the Misano Circuit. Many Italian channels also broadcast the funeral live.Following Marco’s funeral, the San Carlo Honda Gresini team released a report, saying: “The most emotional moment came when the Vasco Rossi song ‘Siamo solo noi’ was played as Marco’s coffin was carried out of the the church of Our Lady of the Assumption to make its final journey. Goodbye ‘Super Sic,’ you will always be in our hearts.Simoncelli passed away Sunday from injuries sustained during a second-lap crash at Sepang, Malaysia. For a bio of Simoncelli, click here.