Marco Simoncelli To Join Agostini, Duke & others as MotoGP Legend
Marco Simoncelli 58 News
The late Marco Simoncelli will never be forgotten. The wild-haired Italian brought smiles to many across the world of motorcycle racing, and his edgy riding style is one of legend.
And now, his legendary status will be solidified; the 2008 250cc World Champion will be inducted into the Hall of Fame as a MotoGP Legend during this year’s Italian Grand Prix at Mugello June 1.
Simoncelli, who passed at 24-years old during a crash at the Malaysian Grand Prix (Sepang) Oct. 23, 2011, will join 20 other MotoGP Legends, including Giacomo Agostini, Mick Doohan, Geoff Duke, Wayne Gardner, Mike Hailwood, Daijiro Kato, Eddie Lawson, Anton Mang, Angel Nieto, Wayne Rainey, Phil Read, Jim Redman, Kenny Roberts, Jarno Saarinen, Kevin Schwantz, Barry Sheene, Freddie Spencer, John Surtees, Casey Stoner and Carlo Ubbiali.
Following is a tribute biography of Super Sic we published back in October 2011:
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 10th 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.