The San Carlo Honda Gresini team looks set to withdraw from the season-ending Valencia MotoGP, following the tragic death of Marco Simoncelli in Sunday's Malaysian race.

"The only certain thing is that my team will not participate in the next Grand Prix in Valencia, or [the] tests scheduled after the race," reports team principal Fausto Gresini as saying.

The Italian, a former double 125cc world champion, has experienced the pain of losing a rider before - Gresini Honda running Daijiro Kato when the Japanese lost his life at Suzuka in 2003.

Simoncelli's death is the first in the premier-class since Kato.

Speaking of Simoncelli, who had raced for Gresini since his MotoGP debut at the start of 2010 and had recently re-signed for 2012, Fausto said:

"I have so many images that come to mind of these two years together. Marco was spontaneous, always did what he thought was right, with a heart of gold and always happy. I do not remember seeing him angry once...

"A special boy who came from a special family. He and his father were particularly close, like brothers."

Simoncelli, the 2008 250cc world champion, finished eighth in his rookie MotoGP and had progressed rapidly in his second, scoring two poles and two podiums. The 24-year-old Italian had claimed his best MotoGP finish of second just one week earlier in Australia.

The Valencia Grand Prix will be held from November 4-6, which would be Hiroshi Aoyama's last ride for Gresini before switching to the World Superbike Championship.


Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register to add your comment