MARCO SIMONCELLI was laid to rest yesterday in Coriano, the village where he was born and lived.
The Italian MotoGP rider died on Sunday after suffering fatal wounds during a track crash in Malaysia.
Simoncelli lost control of his Honda at turn 11 and swerved across the track, into the path of his close friend Valentino Rossi and American rider Colin Edwards.
Large crowds gathered yesterday outside the church in Coriano where the funeral was held to bid farewell to the 24-year-old. The service was shown on big screens set up in the village square.
Mourners included seven-time world champion Rossi, Spanish rider Jorge Lorenzo as well as Gresini Racing Team boss Fausto Gresini.
Gresini said: “Perhaps we didn’t consider just how much he was loved, we thought we knew it, but the number of people that have come here has been truly great. This is comforting even though we have a lot of pain inside.”
Two of Simoncelli’s bikes, a Gilera 250 and a Honda, guarded the coffin while his helmet with the No.58 was placed above the casket.