Just one week after IndyCar driver Dan Wheldon lost his life in an accident on the racetrack, motorcycle racer Marco Simoncelli, 24, was involved in a fatal crash on the course at the Malaysian MotoGP race on Sunday morning.
Simoncelli crashed into two racers on a turn and fell to the ground motionless. He was pronounced dead 45 minutes later, according to the Associated Press report.
Sepang circuit chairman Mokhzani Mahathir voiced his condolences and said it was unfortunate that a death occurred for the first time since the circuit opened in 1999.
"We had our standard operating procedure...this is one-of-a-kind freak incident where the helmet came off and I am sure (motorcycling body) FIM and MotoGP will be looking into this," he said.
It may have been a "one-of-a-kind freak incident," but where does it end? Two lives have been lost in a seven-day period because of an accident on a racetrack. Now, unlike Wheldon's accident, Simoncelli just lost control of his bike and that's when tragedy struck.
The problem is, there might not be a perfect solution to the problems in racing right now.
One of the biggest things that people felt was wrong with the IndyCar race last weekend was that too many cars on the track at one time. That did not appear to be the case with the MotoGP race, but there were number of motorcycles bunched together.
It does not do anyone any good to look back at the accidents and wonder what could have been done to prevent them. It is not fair to the families and it doesn't solve anything. We have to focus on doing what is best for the sports and the safety of the drivers in the future.
Investing money in the best possible equipment and limiting the number of drivers that are allowed on a track at a given time would be a good start. These are far from perfect solutions, but they are better than nothing.