Sepang to pay tribute to Marco Simoncelli


MotoGP riders will gather at Malaysia’s Sepang circuit this week for the installation of a plaque in memory of Italian rider Marco Simoncelli, who died in a crash last October, a top official said Tuesday. Razlan Razali, Sepang International Circuit (SIC) CEO, told AFP that riders and team officials would gather at turn 11 on Thursday where the young racer lost control of his bike. “A bronze plaque will be installed at turn 11 in remembrance of Simoncelli,” he said. The tragic incident occurred soon after the race began when the 24-year-old Honda rider’s bike veered across the track and into the path of riders Colin Edwards and Valentino Rossi, who appeared to have hit him. Simoncelli, considered an up-and-coming MotoGP star, had his helmet knocked off in the collision. Razlan also said a new “Marco Simoncelli rookie of the year” trophy in memory of the flamboyant 2008 Moto2 world champion would be unveiled on Saturday. SIC will award the trophy to the best rookie in the MotoGP class at the season ending race in Valencia on November 11. Any rookie rider with the most number of points wins the trophy. Sepang is to host the Malaysian Grand Prix on Sunday, in round 16 of the 18-part MotoGP Championship.