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2011-10-26 07:04

CLOSE FRIENDS: Valentino Rossi (left) and Marco Simoncelli were great friends off the track but Rossi was riding one of the bikes that killed him.

The Honda Gresini team has pulled out of the season-ending Valencia Motorcycle GP to respect the death of its Italian rider Marco Simoncelli during the 2011 Malaysian GP.

Simoncelli, 24, was killed on the Sepang track after he lost control of his bike and was struck by fellow riders Colin Edwards and Valentino Rossi.


Team chief Fausto Gresini told Italian newspaper Corriere dello Sport on Tuesday: "The only certainty is that my team won't participate in the upcoming Valencia GP or in the tests after the race.
"Everything happened so fast. I'm lost for words. I know our job is dangerous, that risk is part of the game, but you always hope nothing will happen. When it does and you find yourself in the middle of it, everything changes, it's difficult to accept it.

"The crash was caused by a sequence of incredibly negative circumstances, the bike that moved towards the inside of the turn instead of the outside, being run over on the widest track of the season."

Simoncelli's funeral is scheduled for Thursday (October 27).

Members of the Honda Gresini team will attend the November 4-6 Valencia GP where the sport will honour the memory of the Italian.

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