Coriano (Rimini), 23 October 2021 – Ten years have passed since that moment. In Italy it was an autumn morning, while in Malaysia, on the circuito di Sepang, the bikes were ready to go. As always, the fans of Marco Simoncelli (PHOTO).
It was one Coriano still shrouded in sleep that suddenly found herself plunging into a nightmare. The race was in the early laps, the 24-year-old Marco was fighting among the first, attached to the gas even when the bike coming out of the curva Kenyr Lake Corner began to slip away.
Marco clings to it, he does not want to give up and it is there that the bike takes an unexpected trajectory and who comes from behind, Colin Edward e Valentino Rossi, they have no way of avoiding it. A strangled scream in the throat, then silence. The boy is on the ground, he does not move, help arrives while the paddock falls silent. A few hours later the news of the death of Sic will arrive.
From that moment on, something happened that no one would have expected. Challenging the limit is something that happens every time the champions hit the track. Risk is a travel companion and when there is a boy or a man to cry, the fans and fans pay him a tribute. But this doesn’t happen with Marco.
The staircase of the church in the center of Coriano is filled with flowers in a few hours. Then the sheets are hung with his number, 58. In the days that follow the flowers will increase and will continue to do so for weeks. People who until then had not even followed the races on TV arrive in procession in Coriano.
There was something about that golden-curled boy that went beyond racing, beyond the passion for motorcycle. “Now, Marco’s smile will be seen all the way to the sea”, his father Paolo will say during the inauguration of the center for disabled children, in January 2019, wanted by the Simoncelli family. A smile that showed a soul capable of entering the eyes and hearts of thousands of people scattered around the world.
On the occasion of the ten years since the death of Marco Simoncelli, Coriano and Misano will dedicate a few moments to memory.
In Misano, at 4.30 pm, it will be inaugurated the Oak planted outside the racetrack that bears his name, at the Quercia curve.
Father Paolo Simoncelli: “Marco is always our oak”
Also in Misano, this evening at 22.20, in Piazza della Repubblica, the Honda Gresini MotoGP del Sic whose roar resounds every evening, at the same time, in the Hochey di Paolino. In Coriano they decided to pay tribute to the champion at 5pm today with one mass celebrated in the church of Santa Marta Assunta in Coriano.
A little later, at 7 pm, the number that Marco carried on the track, the Fiamma del sic, will be lit for 58 seconds in the area set up years ago by Dainese to remember the missing driver. Also during the weekend the Sic Museum, in the halls of the Theater in the village of Coriano, will remain open, including on Mondays (October 25), in the morning and in the afternoon.
In these ten years it was not the anniversaries of the disappearance that moved the Sic people, but the birthdays. Right from the start, starting with the family, it was decided that that smile had to stay that way. Like this for years she did not remember the disappearance, but her birthday with a maxi event to be laughed at on January 20. That’s right, starting with Sergio Sgrilli, who was a friend of his, Duilio Pizzocchi, Paolo Cevoli, Giovanni Cacioppo, Paolo Migone and many others took the stage on the various occasions when it was celebrated, from Rimini to Milan and Bologna.
The Marco Simoncelli Foundation
“Marco is here with us to compete in another race: this one”. This is how the Foundation that bears the name of the champion presents itself. The family immediately understood that the wave of affection and the desire of people not only to remember Marco, but to go further, to give wings to that smile, could not remain unheard.
Thus was born the Foundation which immediately began to raise funds for projects in the social field. I am also part of the board Carlo Pernat and the reporter Paolo Beltramo. “Whoever the people the Foundation will help are, we will try to be as Marco would have been: serene, decisive, honest, pure, creative, cheerful. We will try to do it as he would have done it, as he did it ”.
He also works in the Foundation Sic’s girlfriend, Kate Fretti, who was 22 at the time of the tragedy. “It happens to think of Marco every day, not just an anniversary”, he says in a recent interview.
Center for the disabled
This was the most important work that the Foundation has faced to date. They called her the House of Sic. It is a center for disabled children. A three-storey building with a total area of 1,500 square meters with rehabilitation pools, a gym and a playground. The inauguration on Marco’s birthday on January 20, 2019. To help the foundation in the project was also Carlo Ezpeleta, manager of Dorna, who bought the Sic motorcycle at auction for 58 thousand euros ”.
Marco Simoncelli Monument and Museum
When the steps of the staircase leading to the church in the village of Coriano were no longer able to contain the bouquets of flowers dedicated to Marco, from the Municipality to the family it was realized that more had to be done. It all happened very quickly. Already a month after the pilot’s disappearance, there was talk of titles and above all of a monument. The place chosen was the small square where the flowers began to appear. But a simple memory was not enough and above all the family did not want to limit everything to a place to commemorate Marco. The story, the achievements and the strength of that boy had to be transmitted and it was from here that he was born the museum, which is located in front of the monument, in the rooms inside the Palazzo del Teatro Corte. A collection of motorcycles, images, suits, mini bikes and much more through which to retrace the history of Sic.
The heart of Liviero
For the registry is called Oliviero Bucci, he is 65 years old and lives in Coriano. For everyone it is Liviero, that man who wakes up in the morning and goes to clean and fix the area of the Sic monument. It began to do so a few days after the pilot’s disappearance when Coriano had become the destination of an endless procession. Initially there were four or five of them to tidy up, but over the years only Liviero remained. “It comes naturally to me, I loved Marco”.
Since then he has risen early in the morning at least a thousand times to fix the monument. And he didn’t stop there. “On the front of the house I had the image of the book written by Paolo Beltramo reproduced with the inscription ‘Thanks Marco for the emotions you made us experience”.
Motorcycle rally and blessing
The procession on foot to the village in the early days with bouquets of flowers in hand turned over time into a roaring procession of motorcycles. The Motomemorial carried at least a thousand motorcycles year after year in the heart of Coriano, in the places of Sic. And as soon as the motorcyclists arrived they were greeted by Don Stefano Sargolini, who rode the streets in Ducati and blessed the motorcyclists at the meeting. Despite the pandemic, it was organized again this year bringing several hundred motorcyclists between Coriano and Misano.
Sic’s name could not stay away from racing. Already in the first days after the tragedy the idea was launched on the web. A petition that answered a question: Do you want to name the Misano circuit after Marco Simoncelli? In a few days, 150 thousand adhesions were reached. Guido Meda himself, who had told about his exploits many times, said: “If you name the Misano circuit after Marco, you are not wrong”. Today the racetrack is called Misano World circuit Marco Simoncelli. In 2014, in addition to the circuit, a four-meter-high marble sculpture was created inside the roundabout leading to the circuit, along the Via del Carro.
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