Simoncelli foundation given 250GP Gilera

Championship-winning Gilera to go on display in Simoncelli museum in Coriano, Italy

APRILIA has donated Marco Simoncelli's championship-winning 250GP Gilera to go on display in the museum in his honour.

Simoncelli rose to notoriety on the Gilera RSA250 on the way to winning the title in 2008. Adorned with his trademark number 58, the bike was handed over to Paolo Simoncelli yesterday.

The bike was delivered by Aprilia's Technical and Sport Director, Luigi Dall'Igna. He said: “Marco is an important part of history for Aprilia and the entire Piaggio Group. With us, astride the Gilera 250, he won a World Championship and thrilled millions of fans, leaving an indelible mark on the world of motorcycle competitions and in the hearts of those who had the good fortune of working with him.

"Marco was a good rider, tenacious, courageous. But in all of our hearts, we will always hold that kid with the ‘Romagnolo’ accent, so tall that he had to struggle to cram himself into the GP bikes, who could make the entire garage smile just be being there."

Simoncelli's father Paolo, who also received his son's white Gresini Honda RC212V at Mugello, said: "Another special day, another gesture that fills the hearts of our family in memory of a victory which made Marco happy and proud: on 20 October 2008 astride this bike he achieved a dream he had always had.

"I can remember that even in primary school he had a very clear idea of what his goal was: ‘one day I’ll be world champion’ was the phrase that appeared most often in his diary and on that day, astride the Team Metis Gilera, that dream came true. Many thanks to Aprilia again today, as then.”

The Marco Simoncelli Foundation was created in his honour to help sustain humanitarian projects for the needy, especially young people.

Simoncelli took six and 12 podium places on the way to the 2008 250GP crown.