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article imageMarco Simoncelli dies after accident at motorcycle grand prix

By Jane Fazackarley     Oct 23, 2011 in Sports
Sepang - Marco Simoncelli died on Sunday following an accident which occurred during the Shell Advance Malaysian Motorcycle Grand Prix at the Sepang International Circuit.
Some reports say that the Italian rider lost control of his motorbike and then fell into the path of two of the other riders leaving Simoncelli critically injured as a result.
The race was halted and an ambulance took Simoncelli to the medical centre at the circuit. According to the statement from MotoGP, medical staff worked to try and resuscitate him.
A short statement says:
"Marco sadly succumbed to his injuries at 4:56pm local time."
"Everyone involved in MotoGP extends its deepest condolences to Marco’s family, friends and team at this tragic loss."
Four members of the Race Direction team and Medical Director Michele Macchiagodena have since taken part in a press conference to further explain the circumstances surrounding the young rider's death.
Macchiagodena said:
"I’m very sad to be here to report about the death of Marco Simoncelli, a friend. Because of the crash he had during the race, in which he was hit by other riders, he suffered a very serious trauma to the head, to the neck and the chest. When our medical staff got to him he was unconscious."
Macchiagodena went on to explain that the medical team carried out CPR for 45 minutes "because we tried to help him for as long as we thought it was possible".
A member of the Race Direction team, Paul Butler, said that the circumstances of the accident would be "thoroughly investigated" but he didn't answer a specific question about Simoncelli’s helmet which came off during the crash.
Another rider, Colin Edwards, was injured in the accident. He is said to have a dislocated shoulder but is otherwise fine.
The 24-year-old had competed in MotoGP since 2010 and prior to that took part in the 250 World Championship, 125 World Championship and the Superbike World Championship.
Mark Webber, F1 driver for Red Bull Racing, was among one of many paying tribute on Twitter. He said:
"R.I.P Marco A special talent that will be missed... Thinking of your loved ones, and all the motogp paddock..mark"
Jake Humphrey, a presenter for F1 racing on the BBC, also added his comments. He said:
"So sad for Marco's family, team, competitors & friends. An even darker cloud will hang over Indian GP now. Quest for safety must never stop"
A tribute page has been set up by MotoGP so fans can leave a tribute for the rider.
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