Moto GP

Simoncelli to be honoured in Valencia

Posted:

The curtain comes down on the 2011 MotoGP World Championship this weekend in Valencia, Spain, where Marco Simoncelli will be remembered, celebrated, and honoured, and his team-mate Hiroshi Aoyama will compete for the team for the final time.

"Super Sic" was a rising star in MotoGP, a charismatic 24-year-old Italian who raced his San Carlo Honda Gresini RC212V with the same passion that he lived his life by. He was in fourth place on the second lap of the Malaysian Grand Prix just ten days ago when he lost his life in a tragic accident.

The much beloved bushy-haired free spirit was honoured at sporting events worldwide, including Serie A football matches in his native Italy, as well as at the Formula One Indian Grand Prix. The San Carlo Honda Gresini team will take part in the Valencia Grand Prix to honour the memory of his former 250cc championship rival.

The Honda riders arrive back on European soil having won all the major prizes. Casey Stoner won the Riders Championship at his home Australian Grand Prix. Stoner's ninth win of the season also gave Honda the Constructors Championship. And the Repsol Honda team clinched the Teams Championship when the Malaysian Grand Prix was canceled following Simoncelli's accident.

Still, the Repsol Honda team-mates will be out for personal glory in Valencia. In his 100th grand prix in the premiere class, Stoner will be vowing to win his tenth race ‰ÛÒ it would be an 800cc class-leading 34th overall - and the final race of the 800cc era; two days after the race the 1000cc era begins with the Honda RC213V.

Andrea Dovizioso is trying to secure second in the MotoGP World Championship, while team-mate Dani Pedrosa is there to make sure that doesn't happen, and continue his streak of finishing in the championship top three, which he's done every year since 2007.

Stoner has had the season of a lifetime. With podium finishes in every race he's finished, Stoner was the runaway championship winner of the final 800cc MotoGP World Championship. He also won the inaugural 800cc crown in 2007. Coming to Valencia he has nine wins, 11 poles, and seven fastest race laps. The 26-year-old Australian has been on pole in Valencia for the last three years, finishing second last year and winning the race in 2008. He also finished second here in 2007, as well as winning on a 125 in 2004.

"It will be difficult to return to racing this weekend after Marco's terrible accident in Sepang, but I think it is the best thing we can do to honour him," Stoner said.

"We know we all play a risky game and, even if compared to the past the safety of our sport is much better, unfortunately these kind of events still occur. My thoughts go out to his family and I hope that they are coping through this period.

"The race this weekend is the final round of an incredible season for us. We worked hard all year and after clinching the title in Phillip Island we are starting to look to 2012. After the race here in Valencia we will have the two-day test on the 1000cc machine and then we can take a well deserved break and reflect on the ups and downs of a very long hard season. We will go out there this weekend and try to put on a good show for all the fans, and especially in memory of Marco."

Dovizioso and Pedrosa are separated by only four points-212 to 208- in their battle for third overall. If Pedrosa wins the race or finishes second ahead of Dovi, he'll come third in the championship. Otherwise, he has to finish with a cushion of four points. Of the two, Pedrosa has the more impressive record in Valencia. Pedrosa won the traditional season finale in 2009 and from the pole in 2007, giving Honda ownership of the pole position for the past four years. He also claimed a second place finish in 2008. In addition, Pedrosa has two wins here in the 250cc class and a 125cc win. Dovi has a best MotoGP finish of fourth-twice-and also finished second in his 250cc days.

"I'm very sad for the loss of Marco," Dovizioso said. "I'm going to Valencia not in the right frame of mind for a race. I will wear Marco's number 58 on the chest of my leathers, close to my heart, this is the only thing that counts. I have raced with Marco throughout my whole career. He was 'the rival' and now that he is no longer with us, he has left a big void and I want to convert this feeling of emptiness to determination.

"I hope to get a good result at Valencia, mainly because it is important for me to finish third in the championship, but I know the race will be difficult as it is not one of my favourite circuits and Dani is very strong there. Also, the GP of Valencia is my last race with Honda and I really would like to crown these ten years together with a good final race."

Dani Pedrosa added, "Valencia will be a very special race for everybody. This weekend we will all have Marco in our thoughts and I hope the fans show their respect and appreciation to him, as the whole MotoGP family will do.

"Valencia is a track I like a lot and I'm looking forward to seeing all the fans there again. Last year I couldn't perform very well due to injury, but this time I hope to have a good race and finish the season in a good shape."

Valencia marks the end of Hiroshi Aoyama's (San Carlo Honda Gresini RC212V) MotoGP career, for now. The likeable Japanese rider will be moving on to World Superbike to help Honda recapture the championship as a member of the successful Ten Kate Honda team. He'd like nothing more than to go out with a successful result, not only for himself, but for the team and the memory of his team-mate.

"Me and my team will be in Valencia. I will do my best in the race to honour and remember Marco," Aoyama said.

The decision to take part wasn't an easy one for the San Carlo Honda Gresini team, but they'll compete in both the MotoGP and Moto2 classes.

"The decision to participate was not an easy one, but we have made this choice as it is what Marco would have wanted," Fausto Gresini said,

"Going out on track at Valencia is definitely the best way to honour him by doing what he most loved to do: Ride and experience the world of MotoGP. This is why I believe that the best show of affection that we can make to Marco is by lining up our teams and riders for this race. 'Super Sic' will be present in the hearts of Hiroshi Aoyama, Michele Pirro and Yuki Takahashi, and I am sure that they will give him a most fitting tribute with their performances on Sunday."

Toni Elias will be leaving the LCR Honda MotoGP team after this race and would also like to end on a high note. Elias has struggled in his return to the premier class after becoming the first ever Moto2 champion in 2010. A return to home soil, for the fourth time this year, may be the motivation he needs to come to grips with the Honda RC212V for the final time.

Share Article:

Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn
Tumblr
Pinterest
Reddit
Email
Print

More News: Latest Headlines

More News: Latest Headlines

Motocross

SBS To Continue As Official ProMX Broadcast Partner In 2024

Motocross

Jay Wilson To Defend Japanese Motocross Championship With Yamaha

Off Road

Jonte Reynders And Motul Pirelli Sherco Race Team Primed for 2024 AORC Opener

Supercross

Cameron McAdoo and Seth Hammaker Make it a Daytona Double Podium

Long Track

Jarred Brook Takes Final Lap Victory At The 2024 Bathurst Long Track Masters

Supercross

Jett Lawrence Secures Third Victory, Tom Vialle Triumphs at Daytona Supercross

EnduroCross

Billy Bolt Crowned 2024 FIM SuperEnduro World Championship

AMA Supercross

The Emergency Department - 2024 AMA Supercross - Daytona Rnd 8

Industry

CFMOTO Launches New Microsite Dedicated To Its Expansive 450cc Line-Up

Supercross

Guillem Farres' Season Over As A Result Of A Serious Training Crash Injury

Motocross

Factory Honda In Winning Early Season Form At Sunshine State Championships

Dirt Track

2024 NSW Dirt Track Season Lifts Off At Somersby Super TT Meeting

What's On This Week

MXGP - R1
MXGP of Patagonia-Argentina - Villa La Angostura
Sunday, March 10th, 2024
AMA GNCC - R3
The General, Washington
Sunday, March 10th, 2024
Gippsland Region MX - R2
Korumburra
Sunday, March 10th, 2024
AORC - R2
Roma, Qld
Sunday, March 10th, 2024
AORC - R1
Roma, Qld
Saturday, March 9th, 2024
AMA Supercross Round 9
Protective Stadium -Birmingham, AL
Saturday, March 9th, 2024

Featured:

First Look At The All New 2024 Beta 450RX

2024 Yamaha YZ250F Review

Enhance Your Bike’s Protection With Force Accessories Custom Clutch Cover

2023 Sherco 300 SE Factory Ride Review

Michelin StarCross 6 – Inspected

Drink Wirelessly with SoleStream

What's On This Week

MXGP - R1
MXGP of Patagonia-Argentina - Villa La Angostura
Sunday, March 10th, 2024
AMA GNCC - R3
The General, Washington
Sunday, March 10th, 2024
Gippsland Region MX - R2
Korumburra
Sunday, March 10th, 2024
AORC - R2
Roma, Qld
Sunday, March 10th, 2024
AORC - R1
Roma, Qld
Saturday, March 9th, 2024
AMA Supercross Round 9
Protective Stadium -Birmingham, AL
Saturday, March 9th, 2024