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2013-12-02 07:43

ALAN BALDWIN

DORIANO ROMBONI: Killed in the same way as the rider being commemorated. Image: Facebook

ROME, Italy - Italian motorcycle racer Doriano Romboni died on Saturday after being struck by another rider's bike at an event in memory of late compatriot Marco Simoncelli, killed in a similar way two years earlier.

The popular Simoncelli died at the 2011 Malaysian MotoGP after he lost control, fell, and was hit by two bikes, one ridden by compatriot Valentino Rossi.

Romboni, 45, was taken by helicopter to hospital in Latina, south of Rome, after the crash that occurred during practice for a Supermoto event attended by other well-known riders, among them former World champion Max Biaggi.

The official motogp.com website said he died from his injuries later in the afternoon.

'SUCH A GREAT RIDER'

Romboni competed from 1996-97 as an Aprilia factory rider in the 500cc category, now MotoGP, and was a six-times race winner in the 125cc and 250cc categories. He also raced in World Superbikes.

American former World Superbike champion and MotoGP race winner Ben Spies wrote on Twitter: "Grew up watching him when I was a kid, such a great rider. Prayers to his family and friends."

Other riders, among them Italy's Loris Capirossi and Marco Melandri, sent their condolences.

Biaggi said those taking part in the event had decided to continue on Sunday to support Romboni's family. The rider had three children.
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