Schwantz, Rossi, MotoGP Community Pay Tribute to Simoncelli

Henny Ray Abrams | November 5, 2011

1993 500cc World Champion Kevin Schwantz will pay tribute to his friend, the late Marco Simoncelli, by riding the Italian’s San Carlo Honda Gresini RC212V for an unprecedented parade lap of all world championship riders on Sunday morning at the Valencia Grand Prix.All weekend long the MotoGP community has been paying tribute to Simoncelli, the charismatic Italian who died on the second lap of the Malaysian Grand Prix.

Every MotoGP rider has some sort of tribute on either his motorcycle, helmet, or leathers. Ducati Marlboro’s Valentino Rossi, who was involved in the Simoncelli crash and who was one of his best friends, unveiled a helmet dedicated to Simoncelli on Saturday morning. The AGV helmet features an Aldo Drudi paint job that incorporates Simoncelli’s paint scheme into Rossi’s.

Schwantz will lead the parade lap at 10:10 a.m. local time, 6:10 a.m. EST on Sunday morning. As the riders round the final corner of the Ricardo Tormo Circuit and approach the finish line they’ll stop just short, with local authorities and representatives of MotoGP’s governing bodies (Dorna, IRTA and the FIM) congregating at the finish line alongside Simoncelli’s family and members of the Gresini team.Once the bikes have taken up their positions on the front straight a traditional two-minute Valencian fireworks display will take place.

Henny Ray Abrams | Contributing Editor

Abrams is the longest-serving contributor at Cycle News. Over the course of his 35-some years of writing and shooting photos, he’s covered events from MotoGP to the Motocross World Championship - and everything in between.