In 2008, Italian motorcycle racer Marco “Sic” Simoncelli achieved a life-long dream when he captured the 250cc Grand Prix world championship aboard a Gilera. By 2010, Simoncelli earned a seat at the MotoGP Honda Gresini Team before moving up to a factory-spec bike in 2011. That season, Sic came under fire for his aggressive riding style but he also came into his own.
Claiming two pole positions and achieving his first premier class podium at the Czech Republic GP, number 58 finished a career-best second place in the Australian Grand Prix. However, the rider’s meteoric rise came crashing down at the Malaysian Grand Prix on October 23, 2011. On the second lap of the race, Sic lost traction at turn 11, sending his bike into a low-side crash. Unfortunately, Simoncelli pulled out all the stops to save the crash, sending him back into the trajectory of other riders.
American rider Colin Edwards and Simoncelli’s good friend Valentino Rossi struck the downed rider as a result. Less than an hour after the crash, medical personnel proclaimed Simoncelli dead due to the injuries sustained on track. His tragic death shook the motorcycle racing world for years, but a new graphic novel will celebrate the life and achievements of the fallen racer.
Written by Fabio Fagnani and illustrated by Noemi Parente, the graphic novel 58 turns Marco Simoncelli’s story into a fairytale. Told from the perspective of Little Marco, the fictionalized biography follows the young racer’s development as a world-class racer. Mentored by Sic, Little Marco’s grown-up alter ego, the main character learns how to foster his talent, grit, and determination on the racetrack.
With the 10-year anniversary of Simoncelli’s death approaching, there’s no better way to remember the excitement and candor that he brought to the MotoGP paddock. At only €20 ($23 USD), 58 is also an affordable addition to any graphic novel/book collection. We may know Simoncelli’s story as a tragedy, but 58 reshapes that narrative into a fairytale ending.