|A friend posted this pic on Facebook. I'm not sure where it came from, but I'm hoping it's in the public domain.|
I can’t stop crying. A couple of hours ago it was announced that Marco Simoncelli – he of the crazy hair and the wild, give-it-everything-you’ve-got riding style, had ‘succumbed to his injuries’ after a dreadful, dreadful crash at the Sepang circuit in Malaysia. The image of his helmet bouncing across the track will stay with me for a long, long time.
I feel as if I’ve lost a friend, even though I’ve never met him. Marco, aka Hair Bear, Fully Sic, Super Sic and probably a host of other names, was a regular visitor to my lounge room throughout the motoGP season, via the magic of television. Last weekend my friend Tali was his grid girl at Phillip Island. I felt a vicarious connection with him because of that. Tali’s feeling pretty gutted right now – as are all my motorcycling friends - as am I.
We all know that motorcycling is dangerous, but we love it anyway. And even knowing how dangerous it is, we are still shattered – and, I think, kind of surprised - when we lose someone. Especially someone like Marco, who was one of the young gods of motorcycling. When they are on the track, they seem protected somehow. High speed 'offs' that would kill lesser mortals seem to have little effect on them. These young blokes achieve the impossible, race after race. They crash at horrendous speeds. They slide, they get up and more often than not, they walk away.
But not today.
Marco Simoncelli, you crazy charismatic gutsy young man - you will be fondly remembered by more people than you could imagine, and you will be sadly missed.
My heartfelt thoughts go out to Marco’s family – and to Colin Edwards and Valentino Rossi, who were drawn into this awful, awful accident of Fate through no fault of their own, and who will be burdened with the memory of it forever. Hugs all round.
If you haven't yet, but would like to leave a condolence message, or read the tributes of other fans, here's a link (thanks Andrew).