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By Marco Simoncelli Foundation

Unique guitar to be auctioned for the Simoncelli Foundation

Fender designed by Paolo Nutini and signed by Valentino Rossi to be auctioned off in aid of the Marco Simoncelli Foundation

This October it will be five years since the passing of Marco Simoncelli, who was a former 250 world champion and true character of the paddock. The Simoncelli Foundation was set up in memory of the Italian rider, to raise money for national and international humanitarian projects.

In 2016, funds are being raised to build a day care facility for children with disabilities in Marco’s home town of Coriano, Rimini. To help raise money for the foundation, singer Paolo Nutini - who is a life-long fan of MotoGP™ - and his father Alfredo have kindly had made, and donated, a one-off Fender Stratocaster. The Nutinis worked closely with Fender to create the unique design, basing it on the Simoncelli Foundation logo which was created by legendary MotoGP™ helmet designer Aldo Drudi. The guitar was presented to Martin Finnigan, the UK ambassador for the Simoncelli Foundation, at the Italian MotoGP™ race earlier this year.

Finnigan then asked for support for this project from one of Marco Simoncelli’s great friends - Valentino Rossi -  who signed the unique guitar that is now set to go up for auction.

Paolo Simoncelli, Marco's father: “This is a sensational initiative from Paolo (Nutini) and his Dad Alfredo - and our UK ambassador, Martin Finnigan. This is the first time that we know of where such a great and important initiative leaves the world of music to help MotoGP™, I'm happy for this! And I can only say thanks for all the support."

Paolo Nutini: “My father Alfredo is the bike fanatic. I have always loved them but they are his passion. What always got me was the sheer guts and guile that these guys show as they fly round that track at such speed. I thought that Marco Simoncelli was an exciting rider and one who seemed to be getting stronger and stronger. The people who knew him spoke of his kindness and geniality. A handsome big guy with wicked hair and full of passion. It was his love for the guitar that led us to get in touch with Fender and collaborate on the guitar that we have now. Kindly, Fender were more than happy to get involved and we now have the custom 'Sic Strat'. I hope that as lovers of bikes or music, or both, that you can help us raise as much as possible for the foundation and ultimately the children that it will go to.”

The auction of this very unique Fender Stratocaster commenced on Wednesday 7th September at the MotoGP™ go-kart race at Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli; a fun event where MotoGP™ riders race in go-karts for the Spurtleda 58 Championship. The auction will conclude on race day at the Malaysian Grand Prix in Sepang, on Sunday 30th October 2016.

Simoncelli Foundation lay the first brick