Thousands turn out to pay repect to Simoncelli ahead of funeral

Thursday, 27 October 2011

The MotoGP rider’s body was laid out for the public to pay their respects on Wednesday in his hometown of Coriano. The 24 year-old’s funeral will be held today, Thursday, October 27th, at the Santa Maria Assunta church at 3pm.

Long lines of mourners formed early Wednesday morning at the Municipal Theatre in Coriano, the MotoGP rider’s hometown, where the body of the 24 year-old was laid out for the public to pay their respects. Behind the Italian rider’s casket the Gilera bike, on which he won the 2008 250cc World Championship title, and the Honda RC212V, on which he competed in the MotoGP class, were presented.

Originally scheduled to remain open until 10pm, the viewing stayed open until 2:30am to accommodate huge numbers who turned out to bid the rider farewell. This morning the doors were re-opened early to allow the hundreds who still waited a chance to pay respects.

Fans, friends, members of the public and figures from the world of sport came to the Municipal Theatre in Coriano, close to Riccione in the Italian province of Rimini, to pay their respects to the 24 year-old rider who passed away on Sunday following a crash in the MotoGP race in Malaysia.

Amongst those in attendance were recognised Italian sporting figures such as former basketball player Walter Magnifico and Marco Melandri, a close friend of Marco Simoncelli’s and his team-mate in the Gresini team during the young rider’s debut season in MotoGP in 2010.

The funeral, which will take place today, Thursday, at 3pm at the Santa Maria Assunta church in Coriano, is expected to be attended by close friends of Simoncelli’s and fellow riders including Valentino Rossi, Andrea Dovizioso, Jorge Lorenzo and Sete Gibernau. To ensure that all those who attend the funeral can follow the ceremony two large screens will be installed outside the church, and a large screen will also be installed at the Misano circuit nearby.

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