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Malaysian MotoGP: Italian rider Simoncelli dies after horrific crash. [Picture]
PETALING JAYA: Italian rider Marco Simoncelli, 24, died after being involved in a horrific crash at the 2011 Malaysian MotoGP Sunday.
Earlier, the race was cancelled in its second lap when the San Carlo Honda Gresini rider fell and was hit by Colin Edwards and Valentino Rossi.
Simoncelli's helmet was knocked off in the accident, which occurred when the Italian lowsided from his bike at Turn 11.
His bike veered across the track and straight into the path of Edwards and Rossi.
The decision to cancel the race was made by Malaysian race promoter, Sepang International Circuit (SIC) and Dorna Sports.
FIM medical director Dr Michele Macchiagodena, who announced Simoncelli's death at a news conference, said the rider died at 4.56pm of thoracic and abdominal trauma.
The race was red-flagged at 4.05pm and Simoncelli, who lay stricken on the track, was taken by ambulance to the circuit's medical centre.
Edwards, who also fell in the incident, escaped serious injury.
Simoncelli's death is the first in the premier class since another Honda rider, Daijiro Kato, was killed at the 2003 Japanese Grand Prix.
Shoya Tomizawa also died in a similar crash as Simoncelli in Moto2 last year.
Simoncelli, known for his shaggy afro haircut and fun-loving personality, began in the 125cc class in 2002 before moving up to the 250cc class in 2006.
He won the 250cc world title in 2008.
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Malaysian MotoGP 2011 crash
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