As I am typing this, I am still in shock over the sudden and tragic passing of Moto GP Racer Marco Simoncelli. It has only been six days since Dan Wheldon's fatal accident at Las Vegas, and I was barely coming to grips with the fact that he was no longer with us. The memorial at Conseco Field in Indianapolis today was meant to be a celebration of Dan's life, and I had hopes that with remembrance would come some form of closure.
Now another death has struck the motorsport community. Simoncelli was involved in a horrific crash with Colin Edwards and Valentino Rossi during Lap 1 at the Malaysian Grand Prix. Rossi was unhurt and Edwards suffered a dislocated shoulder, but Simoncelli's helmet flew off as he hit the ground. Initial prognosis was hopeful - Reports said Simoncelli had regained consciousness after impact and was rushed to the Medical Centre. An agonizing 27 minutes passed before Race Officials decided to cancel the race. The ominous signs suddenly started flooding in - The lack of any official news, the muted talks between race officials and drivers Casey Stoner & Dani Pedrosa. Then finally, Italian Television broke the news that Simoncelli had died from his injuries. Fingers were crossed, prayers were said, all to no avail. Simoncelli was gone. Taken far too soon.
A driver friend of mine once said to me, 'Everybody Dies, but Not Everybody Lives'. Professional drivers live lives that are far more extraordinary than most. But when death happens it still takes us by surprise. Ayrton Senna was 34 when he died at Imola. Wheldon was 33. Marco Simoncelli was 24.
Despair can be such an irrational feeling. I didn't know Marco personally, but racing is a unique sport in that it fosters a sense of family like no other sport in the world. The collaborative nature of motorsports means everyone is connected to some degree or another. Naturally, when death strikes in racing, it's treated like a death in the family. The logical side of my brain is saying this makes no sense at all. But then so is the cruel reality of what just happened.
My thoughts and well wishes go out to the Simoncelli Family and the entire HRC Moto GP Team during this very difficult time. Rest In Peace Super Sic.