Italian MotoGP rider Marco Simoncelli died following a horrific crash in the Malaysian MotoGP on Sunday (Yahoo! News). He was 24.
It's the second fatal crash in as many weeks in the motor sports world after IndyCar's Dan Wheldon passed away in that series' season finale last weekend.
Simoncelli lost control on the second lap and ended up sliding into the path of two oncoming racers, who couldn't avoid the collision. He was known as one of the sport's most audacious racers and was still attempting to develop into a championship contender.
Fellow Italian rider Andrea Dovizioso had the following to say after the race:
"I'm thinking of his father and his mother. I've also got a child and what's happened today is the worst thing you could imagine. Out on the track we fight hard but misfortune is often just around the corner.
"Mario was a courageous rider and he always fought hard. We've battled on the track since we were kids. I often saw him fall off but without any harm. He appeared indestructible. What's happened here, it seems impossible."
Although the accident will certainly raise the requisite questions about the proper precautions being taken, there is little that could have been done to help Simoncelli. The crash put him in a precarious position and, when racing at such high speeds, Colin Edwards and Valentino Rossi didn't have enough time to react.
In other words, sometimes an accident is exactly that.
The race was canceled following the incident, which was the right decision. It would have been too difficult for his colleagues to focus on winning a race with Simoncelli in their mind. There will be plenty of time to race in the future.
Simoncelli won the 250cc class in 2008 and finished third in 2009. He had 14 career wins in 148 races and made the podium 31 times.
His results in the MotoGP series had begun to improve in recent weeks, including a second place finish in Australia. Unfortunately, his potential will never be realized.