On days like Sunday it becomes all too apparent the dangers we face as motorcyclist and as racers. In between pints at a local pub and an Irish benedict, I received news of Marco Simoncelli’s passing at the Moto GP race in Malaysia. I’m still coming to grips with why I personally feel so struck by this. Amidst cheering football fans and friends in a crowded bar tears ran down my face as I receded to some primitive mental zone reserved for losing a loved one. I don’t know Marco personally, I’ve been in the same vicinity at Eicma in Italy a few years ago and couldn’t help but notice this wild haired dude who seemed to electrify the zone surrounding him. Perhaps it’s the number of similarities I shared with him as a young racer that shook my emotions. His radical style and win or crash attitude made racing exciting and worth watching. He was a young man on the cusp of something greater. I’m a fellow 250 racer and I spent a lot of time learning, crashing and pushing with both painful and successful results. I was often criticized for my hard riding style and unwillingness to give an inch. Beyond those things was the pure joy of riding a motorcycle to it’s limits and this was always evident in Marco’s riding. Constantly asking more from yourself, your bike, your team while shaking a knife in the face of fate. To see a young man lose it all in the pursuit of the thing he cared most about is a harsh reminder of how fragile and precious this life is and why we should enjoy every second. Our condolences to his family, friends and team. The racing community will forever be at a loss. RIP Marco.
Photo’s courtesy of hell for leather.