Marco Simoncelli Foundation
In 2008, the late Marco Simoncelli took his first and only title in the former 250cc World Championship aboard a Gilera RSA 250, a re-branded Aprilia machine.
And on Tuesday at Aprilia Racing headquarters in Noale, Italy, the #58 Gilera RSA 250 that Simoncelli used to claim that title was delivered to the Marco Simoncelli Foundation.
Marco's father, Paolo Simoncelli, who took delivery of the Gilera, spoke had some emotional words at the event.
Paolo Simoncelli says: "Another special day, another gesture that fills the hearts of our family in memory of a victory which made Marco happy and proud: on 20 October 2008 astride this bike he achieved a dream he had always had.
"I can remember that even in primary school he had a very clear idea of what his goal was: 'one day I'll be world champion' was the phrase that appeared most often in his diary and on that day, astride the Team Metis Gilera, that dream came true. Many thanks to Aprilia again today, as then."
The Aprilia name and Simoncelli go back to the beginning of the Italian's career; in 2002, "Super Sic" entered the 125cc Championship aboard Matteoni Racing Team Aprilia 125, and continued with the Italian manufacturer until joining San Carlo Honda Gresini MotoGP in 2010.
Luigi Dall'Igna (Technical and Sport Director of the Aprilia Racing Division) says: "Marco is an important part of history for Aprilia and the entire Piaggio Group. With us, astride the Gilera 250, he won a World Championship and thrilled millions of fans, leaving an indelible mark on the world of motorcycle competitions and in the hearts of those who had the good fortune of working with him.
"Marco was a good rider, tenacious, courageous. But in all of our hearts, we will always hold that kid with the 'Romagnolo' accent, so tall that he had to struggle to cram himself into the GP bikes, who could make the entire garage smile just by being there."
Aligi Deganello (Crew Chief for "Sic" in the 2008 world championship season) says: "The Foundation is the best way to remember Marco, a guy who knew he was lucky and precisely for that reason he tried to help the less fortunate. Seeing this bike always has a strange effect on me because I think back on how hard we worked and on the joy of the World Championship we won with Marco."
The Marco Simoncelli Foundation was created with the intention of sustaining humanitarian projects for the needy, especially young people. The goal of the Foundation is to promote the commitment of sports to society, based on the values for which Marco was a genuine and sincere ambassador. Simoncelli passed following a wreck at the Malaysian Grand Prix on Oct. 23, 2011.