The world of motorcycling has paid tribute to former World Superbike Championship race director Alberto Fantini, who passed away last weekend at the age of 65.

Fantini died at around 3pm on Sunday in hospital in the Italian town of Rimini, where he had been fighting an incurable illness since late July - an illness that ultimately, tragically, proved to be too strong for him.

Having begun his career at Misano right back at the circuit's birth, Fantini went on to prove himself as an international race director of great acclaim and esteem, appreciated for his unstinting professionalism and abundant enthusiasm.

Working closely with the FMI (Italian Motorsport Federation), he gave himself body and soul to promoting the sport that he loved, playing a key role in helping to revive - alongside Giuseppe Morri - the Campionato Italiano Velocit? (Italian Speed Championship), and acting as the World Superbike Championship's race director for many years.

'Alberto was a great race director of international calibre," read a statement from the Misano circuit. 'All of his career was spent promoting motorsport, undertaking so many projects with exceptional dedication and great results, right up to the Campionato Italiano Velocit?.

'All of us at Misano are mourning someone to whom we owe so much. He was the race director here right back at the start of this circuit's history, and thanks to him we organised the first MotoGP races at Misano. Now he is no longer with us, the void he has left is huge.'

Poignantly, Fantini passed away on a weekend during which both MotoGP and WSBK were on-track - at Motegi in Japan and Magny-Cours in France respectively. He leaves behind a wife Maria and daughter Valentina, and all of us at join in mourning his loss and expressing our deepest sympathies to Alberto's family.