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GP Week : Issue 144
IN MEMORIAM MARCO Simoncelli lost his life on the second lap of the Malaysian GP on October 23. Aged 24, the Italian had taken a career-best second a week before in Australia. He was on his way to the top, with a second year on a factory Honda lined up for 2012. As a rider, Simoncelli was brave and fierce, and getting faster by the race. He claimed seven front-row starts in his second MotoGP year, two of them on pole position. He already had a bruising reputation from 250 – he was champion in 2008. It was reinforced by a series of arguments and incidents earlier in the year, including the infamous collision with Pedrosa at Le Mans (several observers, including hero and fan Kevin Schwantz, thought it grossly unfair that the young Italian was given all the blame). But a crash-prone record had little to do with his death: it came in a freak accident where he was trapped beneath the bike as it swerved back across the racing line, with Rossi and Edwards powerless to avoid him. Of all the tributes that poured in from all over the world of racing and beyond, Rossi’s was as eloquent as any. “Shit, I miss you,” he wrote in the book of remembrance. He spoke for all.