Following the tragic death of Marco Simoncelli at the Malaysian GP two weeks ago, the MotoGP community gathered to pay tribute to their friend and colleague throughout the Gran Premio Generali de la Comunitat Valenciana weekend.
This included a parade lap of riders from all three MotoGP world championship categories, which departed the pit lane as a group to complete a lap of the track in honour of Simoncelli.
The procession was led by Simoncelli’s San Carlo Honda Gresini RC212V bike, ridden by 1993 World Champion Kevin Schwantz. For the event, Dainese made a suit for Schwantz to wear, which featured Simoncelli's racing number 58.
As the riders came to the final corner of the circuit, they stopped short and representatives from MotoGP’s governing bodies (Dorna, IRTA and the FIM) joined them on the other side of the finish line alongside members of the MotoGP paddock and the Gresini team.
Once the bikes had taken up their positions on the start/finish straight, a two-minute Valencian Mascletà (a traditional firecracker display) took place following a request from Simoncelli’s family that he be remembered by noise rather than silence.
In a further tribute, Valentino Rossi dedicated a new helmet to his friend Marco Simoncelli.
To demonstrate how much Rossi was affected by the tragedy, the helmet was divided in two. The front part of the AGV GP Tech was painted the same as Simoncelli's, with its red and white motif and number 58. While the back maintained the colors Rossi has used throughout the 2011 season.