Valentino Rossi said he was devastated by the death of Simoncelli, he continued only for love.
The plane that brought back to Italy the remains of Marco Simoncelli landed in Rome on October 25. On board were Simoncelli’s father, Paolo, Marco’s girlfriend, Kate and Valentino Rossi who flew with them.
Valentino Rossi did not intend to quit
On hand to meet the family was Gianni Petrucci, the President of the Italian Olympic Committee, who helped expedite the return of Simoncelli’s body and the usual gaggle of journalists and television crews pushing to interview Rossi asking him about his relationship with Marco, on the risks of being a rider and if he would continue to race.
Rossi had very little to say, commenting on the rumors that he was going to retire: “Quit? I do not know who said it, but it wasn’t me … Maybe it was to sell more newspapers” adding “Marco was great. We shared so many memories, we used to meet almost every day, we’d train together and we’d race against each with any type of machine that had an engine.”
The death of Marco Simoncelli
On 23 October 2011, during the Malaysian Grand Prix, Marco Simoncelli was the victim of a fatal accident. During the second lap the driver lost control of his Honda, going to crash and being run over by the drivers who followed him. The impact was so violent that he took off his helmet. Simoncelli died as a result of trauma to the head, neck and chest.
The death of his dear friend upset Valentino Rossi, who two years earlier had to face another tragedy. Asked if he was afraid, Rossi responded “We know that it can happen, but that doesn’t change things.” On “Sic”, the Italian ended with “He definitely left a great memory, but you can’t stay here for me, he’ll soon be here…”