Marco Simoncelli Memorial
The British Superbike Championship and MotoGP World Championship paddocks will be linked by a very special event this week as the global motorcycling community unites to remember the life of Marco Simoncelli ahead of the late Italian rider’s home Grand Prix at Misano.
A whole host of commemorative fundraising events will be held at the San Marino Grand Prix next week but the festivities get underway on British soil this Sunday, with the ‘Cycle of Wishes’ due to depart from Donington Park ahead of the day’s second BSB race.
A team of thirteen riders led by 1993 500cc World Champion Kevin Schwantz will begin their mammoth bicycle journey with a partial lap of the East Midlands circuit just moments before race two gets underway, before heading off on a 1800km route to the newly renamed Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli via France, Switzerland and, of course, Italy.
Joining Schwantz on the ride are other notable names from the world of two-wheels, including former motocross World Champion Jamie Dobb, BMX legend Jamie Bestwick, BBC television presenter Matt Roberts and former AMA Supercross star Jimmy Button, whose charity Road 2 Recovery will be one of several non-profit organisations to benefit from the effort as well as the Marco Simoncelli Foundation.
The group, who will split into three teams and complete four-hour relay legs on a non-stop pedal along the entire journey, plan to arrive in San Marino on Thursday lunchtime and will take the number 58 bus to Coriano, Marco’s hometown, where they will be greeted by his father Paolo Simoncelli and the local Mayor. From there they will be joined by a host of MotoGP paddock regulars and riders as well as 58 paying members of the public to ride the final 10 kilometers to the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli, finishing off with a lap of the track that will play host to round thirteen of the MotoGP World Championship from Friday morning.
A close colleague and friend of Simoncelli and his family, Dobb says that he was eager to organize a grand gesture in honor of the popular rider, who succumbed to injuries sustained at the Malaysian Motorcycle Grand Prix at Sepang last October.
Jamie Dobb says: “With just a few days to go the butterflies have now started but with that it brings to the forefront why we are doing this, to hopefully bring great exposure to the Marco Simoncelli Foundation and raise some much needed money for the great charities we are working with. Each of us on the ride have had family members that have needed their services and will be forever indebted to them.”
Kevin Schwantz says: “It’s a great honor to be on this inaugural ride to benefit the Simoncelli Foundation. I always had great support from the British fans and I know they will be out in force to give us a good send-off on Sunday. I have been doing some training back home and now I just can’t wait to get started towards Italy and hopefully raise lots of cash for a cause that is close to all our hearts.”
Matt Roberts says: “Marco’s death hit everybody associated with motorcycling hard but almost a year on and with his home Grand Prix on the horizon it feels like an appropriate moment to celebrate his life. I am looking forward to doing just that when we get to Misano but I’m not too sure about the mode of transport! It is going to be a tough ride but Jamie has put a great team together and after panicking about it for the last couple of weeks I am looking forward to getting started now!”
For further information on the ride and how to donate please visit cycleofwishes.com.