More than 10,000 fans pay final respects to Marco Simoncelli

CORIANO, Italy — More than 10,000 fans lined up in the rain Wednesday to pay their final respects to MotoGP rider Marco Simoncelli during a public viewing in the city theater of his hometown.

Behind Simoncelli’s coffin were two motorcycles — one that he rode to win the 250cc championship in 2008 and another used this season. Simoncelli’s number, 58, was seen across town on banners.

“Maybe even we didn’t realize how much he was loved. We thought we knew, but the outpouring of people has really been huge," said Fausto Gresini, Simoncelli’s team manager, according to the ANSA news agency. “It’s really nice to see, even if we have too much pain inside."

Simoncelli’s funeral Thursday will be broadcast live on various Italian TV stations. Fans also can gather at the nearby Misano Adriatico circuit, the site of the San Marino GP, to view the funeral on screens.

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