The Moto GP in Malaysia at the Sepang track was cancelled after a second-lap crash took the life of San Carlo Gresini HRC rider Marco Simoncelli.
Simoncelli crashed on the second lap and got his leg caught under his bike, which regained traction and went back onto the track.
Simoncelli was hit hard by the bike of Colin Edwards, who had no chance to avoid the fallen rider; Valentino Rossi was also caught up in the collision. Simoncelli’s helmet came off in the incident, and he died from “severe trauma to the head and upper torso.”
Edwards crashed heavily and suffered a separated shoulder; Rossi – a very close friend of Simoncelli – managed to stay upright although he ran off track.
The last fatality in Moto GP racing was Daijiro Kato at Suzuka in Japan in 2003. Sadly for Fausto Gresini, Kato was also riding for his team at the time.
Honda has cancelled its tests at the circuit, planned for the Monday after the race. The Moto GP circus will reconvene in two weeks time at the Valencia circuit in Spain for the final race of the 2011 season.