Tragedy struck the Malaysian Grand Prix with the death of Marco Simoncelli. The 24 year old Italian died following an accident on the second lap of the MotoGP race when he fell and was struck by following riders. He was taken by ambulance to the circuit's medical centre, but at 4.56pm local time it was announced he had succumbed to his injuries.
The race had been red flagged and was then cancelled. The 2008 250cc World Champion, so easily recognisable with his shock of curly hair, became both tremendously popular and and at times controversial for his dramatic riding style and success.
His popularity started during 3 years in the 125 Grand Class after he had won the 125 European championship. He won 2 125 GPs before switching to the 250 class in 2006.
He won his first 250 GP in 2008 and went on to claim the title that year. He stayed on in the class in 2009 but narrowly lost the championship to Hiroshi Aoyama after an early season injury. He had scored 6 GP wins in each year, 2008 and 2009.
He stepped up to the MotoGP class for 2010 with the Gresini Honda Team and by the end of the season showed impressive form. That gained him a factory bike for 2011 and he was racing at the front from the start.
He was on pole at Catalunya and Assen and started on the front row in 6 straight races but errors prevented similar results. He calmed a little and became more competitive as the season went on, got on the podium for the first time in Brno and was second in Australia just the week before Malaysia.
Luthi wins Moto2 from Bradl as Marquez misses race.
Stephan Bradl took a major step closer to the Moto2 World Championship by finishing second to Thomas Luthi but he would have claimed the title with victory.
It looked as though Bradl would take the race and the title as he took the lead early and opened up an advantage over Luthi who was fighting with the Espargaró brothers Aleix and Pol.
Luthi managed to close in on Bradl though as the race wound down and took the lead with just 3 laps remaining. The race was then red flagged due to a crash and thus Bradl missed the points he needed to secure the championship.
Bradl just needs a handful of points from the final race in Valencia to take the title. His only challenger, Marc Marquez pulled out of the Malaysian GP after a crash earlier in the weekend but expects to be fit to ride in Valencia in two weeks.
Vinales wins 125 Zarco keeps title hopes.
Maveric Vinales won an exciting 125 race from Sandro Cortese but crucially Johann Zarco's excellent 3rd, well clear of championship leader Nico Terol keeps the ex Red Bull Rookies Cup champion's hopes alive with just a single race remaining.
The odds are still with Terol as he has a 20 point advantage going into the final round in Valencia.