The Sepang International Circuit has defended the decision to cancel the Malaysian Grand Prix following the accident that took Marco Simoncelli's life.
The decision to cancel the race after just two laps did not go down well with some of the fans in the grandstands, who were unhappy about the call by the race organizers. The circuit boss, however, said the decision was taken considering the severity of the crash and in conjunction with MotoGP rights holder Dorna.
"SIC would like to state that the decision to cancel the race was taken after considering the severity of the accident," said the chairman of the Sepang circuit Dato' Mokhzani Mahathir in a statement. "The decision was agreed upon by SIC and Dorna Sports SL, the commercial rights holder of MotoGP. SIC made public announcements on the cancellation of the race and Marco's death as soon as we were authorized to do so, with priority being given to officially inform Marco's family members first. I hope that fans can understand the situation prevalent at the time.
"SIC would like to reiterate that all preparations and precautionary steps were taken to ensure we staged a safe race in accordance with FIM, AAM and Dorna safety requirements. However, the inherently dangerous nature of motorsports does not allow a race organizer or track owner to give a guarantee that nothing untoward will happen during a race.
"The Sepang International Circuit is acknowledged as having been designed to be a safe circuit and managed by a team of experienced personnel, on and off track, to handle race events professionally. We work to the highest safety standards and we will continue to ensure these standards are met at every race held at our circuit.
"At the race on Sunday, circuit personnel acted speedily and professionally to attend to Marco as soon as the accident happened. Despite all that was done, the medical team could not change the outcome of the situation given the severity of his injuries.
"In the aftermath of this sad tragedy, we will work with FIM and Dorna to see if there is anything else we can do to improve rider safety in races."
Simoncelli's funeral is expected to take place on Thursday, with his body having arrived in Italy this morning.
Valentino Rossi, a close friend of Simoncelli's, paid tribute to the Italian again, while also denying he had considered retiring following the accident.
"Marco was great and I'll never forget him," Rossi told Italian media. "There are many memories that will be with me. We were together every day, we would train together, then we'd step on whatever had an engine, our passion.
"We already knew this is something that could happen. It's been a difficult time, I haven't thought of anything. I've talked with Paolo (Simoncelli), he feels pretty bad, we have all hugged him. I've never said that (I was thinking of retiring) – it was probably invented in order to sell papers."