Sidepodcast - All for F1 and F1 for all

Arrivederci, Super Sic - Paying tribute to Marco Simoncelli

Published by Journeyer

Marco Simoncelli back in August of this year
Marco Simoncelli back in August of this yearCredit: Ben Henderson / Flickr

I was supposed to watch the Sepang MotoGP race. I had even watched the 125cc and Moto2 races earlier in the day. But then I was suddenly sent out on an errand, and that was that. Just as I finished my errand, I got the news that Marco Simoncelli was gone.

His riding style was always spectacular - but more importantly, it was always fast. In particular, he seemed to excel riding the 250cc Gilera, where he won a championship in 2008.

That earned him the nickname 'Super Sic' in the process. That also got him noticed by the MotoGP teams, and he was duly signed up by Honda. The Japanese manufacturer was so determined to get him that they circumvented the rookie rule (where rookies cannot ride for works manufacturer teams) by providing him a works bike and full factory support - despite being with a satellite team.

Marco was greatly under the spotlight this year, for better or worse. He rode quickly and aggressively. He raced against the full-fledged factory bikes for podiums. But his aggressiveness occasionally got him into trouble. At the French GP at Le Mans back in May, he shunted with Dani Pedrosa, injuring the latter. It got to a point where some of the riders were publicly criticizing him for all the incidents he got involved in. He mellowed down a bit in the middle of the season, and that cost him some results. But he had begun to find himself again, and was seemingly back on his upward trend to winning and stardom (if not superstardom).

For all the praise and the flak Marco has received this year, I don't think anyone truly hated him as a person. And certainly no one would’ve thought it would end this way. He was MotoGP’s very own Sideshow Bob, with his unique hairstyle and flair. And as fans of the Simpsons know, no matter what Bart did, Sideshow Bob never died. Alas, the real world is different - in this instance, cruelly so.

My last memory of Marco is when I saw him flashed on the Sepang TV coverage just before I left the house. He was in the garage, psyching himself up for the race, when he noticed the TV camera rolling beside him. He took a look at it, then actually spent a few seconds pointing out his brand-new website posted on the garage wall. And I guess that’s how I’ll remember him. His attitude and demeanor on and off the track – the way he talked, the way he walked, the way he rode – he did that all for the fans. He did that all for us.

Requiescat in pace, Marco. Grazie mille.