I was supposed to watch the Las Vegas Indy race, but I fell asleep before it came on. I woke up the following morning to the news that Dan was gone.
Now, I was supposed to watch the Sepang MotoGP race too. I had even watched the 125s and Moto2. But then I was suddenly sent out on an errand, and that was that. Just as I finished my errand, I got the news that Sic was gone too.
Marco was greatly under the spotlight this year, for better or worse. His riding style was always spectacular, but it got to a point where the riders were criticizing him in public for all the incidents he got involved in. He mellowed down a bit in the middle of the season, and that cost him some results. But he had begun to find himself again, and was seemingly back on his upward trend to winning and stardom (if not superstardom). For all the praise and the flak Marco has received this year, no one could’ve really hated him so badly. And certainly no one would’ve thought it would end this way. He was MotoGP’s very own Sideshow Bob, and as fans of the Simpsons know, no matter what Bart did, Sideshow Bob never died. Alas, the real world is very different.
My last memory of Marco is when I saw him flashed on the TV coverage just before I left the house earlier. He was in the garage, psyching himself up for the race, when he noticed the TV camera rolling beside him. He took a look at it, then actually spent a few seconds pointing out his brand-new website posted on the garage wall. And I guess that’s how I’ll remember him. His attitude and demeanor on and off the track – the way he talked, the way he walked, the way he rode – he did that all for the fans. He did that all for us.
Requiescat in pace, Marco. Grazie mille.
PS. Spare a thought for Fausto Gresini. Before Marco, the last death in the MotoGP class was Daijiro Katoh. Both were racing for Gresini when they passed away. It’s not your fault, Fausto. For better or worse, it’s just racing.