1 Nov 2011

Simoncelli's team makes Valencia u-turn

6:44 am on 1 November 2011

Marco Simoncelli's Gresini Racing team have had a change of heart and decided to compete in this weekend's season-ending Valencia Grand Prix as a tribute to the Italian MotoGP star who died this month in Malaysia.

The team's owner Fausto Gresini says the decision was not an easy one, but the team made the choice as it is what Marco would have wanted.

Initially Simoncelli's team had been due to miss Valencia following the tragedy at the Malaysian Grand Prix two Sunday's ago.

The Japanese rider Hiroshi Aoyama will start in the MotoGP race with Michele Pirro and Yuki Takahashi competing in Moto2.

Simoncelli lost his life after crashing on the second lap at the Sepang circuit where he had clinched the 2008 Moto2 title.

His team's presence on the grid in Spain promises to serve up a hugely poignant conclusion to the 2011 MotoGP season.