October 23, 2011 Marco Simoncelli dies in a dramatic accident on the second lap of the Sepang GP in Malaysia. The Honda rider loses control of his vehicle and slips on the asphalt where he is hit by other speeding motorbikes. Colin Edwards and Valentino Rossi remain involved and are unable to avoid it: Simoncelli remains lifeless on the ground, without a helmet. “Sic” was considered Valentino Rossi’s designated heir, eight years “older” than him and his great friend. More than ten years later, his father Paolo Simoncelli remembers the strange sensations and omens of death he felt shortly before the tragic Sepang GP.
“It’s the only regret of my life”
Starting from the famous “towel upside down” on Marco’s head, on the Sepang starting line. Dad Paolo, seeing the famous number “46” upside down, felt a strange sensation. “It’s the only regret of my life – he told Sky – not having given him that towel. Every time I look at that image, it hurts me. That same day, I arrived in the garage with thattowel and put it down where I usually did, but it all fell on the floor“.
“I said to myself: ‘I have to go and stop Marco'”
“So I took the scooter to go along the track to watch the race – he continued -. But as soon as I crossed the gate, an icy wind that smelled of death came over me, I swear. A sensation of death indeed, to the point that I said to myself: ‘I have to go and stop Marco’. There was a minute left before the start of the race, there was no time left, my scooter wasn’t working well… Those five minutes were terrible. I never thought Marco could die. I only had that feeling of death when I entered the track on the day he passed away. It was truly terrible. We would do everything again anyway because Marco was happy, he was a really happy boy.”