The casket was carried into the Assunta church by friends and members of the Gresini team, and at 3pm the services commenced. Flanking the casket was Simoncelli’s 2008 250cc World Championship Gilera bike on one side, and his MotoGP Honda RC212V on the other. Also in attendance was FIM president Vito Ippolito and CEO of Dorna Sports, Carmelo Ezpeleta.
“What I experienced this afternoon in Coriano was very moving,” says Ippolito. “After seeing the turnout of citizens, fans and the whole paddock there is no doubt that a great rider and a brilliant person has left us. The outpouring of affection that has been shown demonstrates that he has left his mark.”
Alongside Marco’s father Paolo, mother Rosella, sister Martina and girlfriend Kate, in attendance were current and former fellow riders including Valentino Rossi, Alex Criville, Raffaele De Rosa, Chaz Davies, Mattia Pasini, Manuel Poggiali, Jorge Lorenzo, Andrea Dovizioso, Randy de Puniet, Loris Capirossi, Toni Elias, Hiroshi Aoyama and Alex de Angelis.
The ceremony was broadcast on a large video screen outside of the church, as well as on an additional large screen installed at the nearby Misano circuit, so that those outside of the church and at the circuit could witness the ceremony. Prior to the services the screens ran footage of the 24 year-old at his charismatic best in the paddock.