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Italian rider Marco Simoncelli killed in Malaysian MotoGP

SEPANG, Malaysia - Italian rider Marco Simoncelli has died after wrecking in the Malaysian MotoGP motorcycle race. He was 24.

Sepang circuit press officer Norlina Ayob confirmed Simoncelli's death.

Simoncelli lost control of his Honda in the 11th turn on the first lap Sunday, but his bike regained partial grip and pulled him back across the track, straight into the path of Italy's Valentino Rossi and American Colin Edwards.

Simoncelli's helmet was ripped off and he was motionless on the track.

Edwards also fell, but escaped serious injury, while Rossi was able to return to the pit area. The race was cancelled.

Simoncelli died a week after Indianapolis 500 winner Dan Wheldon was killed a wreck in the IndyCar season finale in Las Vegas.

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