My life is about to change drastically - and hopefully for the better - in a couple of days, when I finally leave the day job after 33 years. More time to attend to (and hopefully build) the wine business, more time to attend to things that need doing around the house, more time to do the things I enjoy and more time to spend with my family. I should be happy, but today I feel sad.
I turned the computer on this morning and logged onto the BBC website, intending to watch the Malaysia Moto GP on the iPlayer. Trying to avoid seeing the sports headlines, but having glimpsed the name Marco Simoncelli out of the corner of my eye, I assumed that I might inadvertently have seen the name of the winner. When the crash happened on the second lap, a terrible feeling of dread came over me. Simoncelli's front tyre slipped and then suddenly re-gripped, throwing him into the middle of the track, straight into the path of Colin Edwards and Valentino Rossi, both of whom had absolutely no chance of taking avoiding action. It left Simoncelli lying face down on the track, his crash helmet having been ripped from his head by the impact with Rossi's bike. Rossi somehow managed to stay on his bike, whilst Edwards escaped with a dislocated shoulder. Understandably, Marco Simoncelli wasn't so lucky. I stuck with the TV coverage until the scheduled re-start time came and went, before reluctantly switching to the sports headlines. I knew what was coming, but it didn't make the sadness any easier to bear.
With his tall frame, huge mop of hair and a swashbuckling riding style, Marco Simoncelli was a hugely talented and exciting rider to watch. In what turned out to be a rather dull season for Moto GP, dominated by the amazing Casey Stoner, Simoncelli seemed certain to become one of the main challengers for the title in years to come. Though he raced a bit too hard sometimes and had his fair share of "offs", he seemed to be maturing as a rider, and a string of excellent finishes in recent races (culminating in 2nd place in Australia last week) promised so much for the future. But now that future has been cruelly curtailed and the world of Moto GP has lost one of its brightest stars. More importantly, Marco Simoncelli's family, friends and Team have to come to terms with the fact that their loved one has been taken so violently and so early. 24 years is far, far too short a life. Rest in peace Marco - you will be sadly missed. :-((
The late, great Marco Simoncelli - image courtesy of http://www.motogpnews.it
Back to wine very soon. Now I need to decide whether to go for a ride on my Honda..........