Mike Stevens | Oct 23, 2011

Just one week after the death of British IndyCar Champion, Dan Wheldon, young Italian MotoGP rider and fast-rising star Marco Simoncelli has been killed on the second lap of the Malaysian Motorcycle Grand Prix at Sepang.

The Gresini Honda rider sustained critical injuries after losing control of his bike and then apparently hit by following riders Colin Edwards and Valentino Rossi, losing his helmet in the impact as he slid across the track.

The race was red-flagged and cancelled as soon as organisers became aware of the seriousness of Simoncelli's injuries.

A statement on the MotoGP website reads in part: "On Sunday 23rd October... San Carlo Honda Gresini's Italian rider Marco Simoncelli suffered a serious accident in which he received critical injuries.

"The race was stopped immediately with the red flag and Simoncelli was transported by ambulance to the circuit medical centre where the medical staff worked to resuscitate him.

"Despite their efforts, Marco sadly succumbed to his injuries at 4:56pm local time.

"Everybody involved in MotoGP extends its deepest condolences to Marco's family, friends and team at this tragic loss."

It was just the second year at the highest level for the 24-year-old Simoncelli. There is a bitter irony to his death at Sepang. It was there he won the 250cc world championship in 2008, before moving up to MotoGP in 2010.

R.I.P Marco Simoncelli, 20 January 1987 - 23 October 2011. Too young, too talented; a sad loss.

Follow Mike Stevens on Google+