It was sad to find out that 24-year-old Italian MotoGP rider Marco Simoncelli passed away earlier today from injuries sustained on the course according to ESPN.
In just the fourth minute of the race, which took place in Sepang, Malaysia, Simoncelli lost control and swerved across the track into the path of two other bikers: Colin Edwards from the US and Valentino Rossi, a fellow countryman.
Edwards and Rossi got up immediately and seemed fine, but Simoncelli remained down with his helmet torn off. He was not moving.
Simoncelli was immediately put on an ambulance and given CPR for approximately forty-five minutes but the injuries to his head, neck and chest were too grave to overcome.
This horrific incident comes just a week after British IndyCar star Dan Wheldon passed away in Las Vegas and is another tragedy in competitive racing.
Simoncelli’s passing has had a clear impact on many racers already and fellow Honda rider Dani Pedrosa had some words for his fallen friend and warnings to fellow drivers.
“Everybody in the paddock remains in shock. Many times we ourselves forget how dangerous this sport can be and when you lose people on the way nothing has any meaning. It's clear that we all do what we like, what we love, but on days like today nothing matters.”
The thing that scares drivers, fans and casual observers the most is that his helmet came off. That is the only thing between the asphalt and riders skull in a crash during these races and they need to stay on.
“When asked about Simoncelli's helmet coming off, race director Paul Butler said at the press conference: 'I think if I may reply, that will be for another occasion. Quite clearly the consequences and circumstances surrounding the accident will be thoroughly investigated.”
Hopefully those investigating find out exactly what happened and put measures in to prevent it so we never have a tragedy like this again.