Simoncelli was involved in an accident with Colin Edwards and Valentino Rossi during the 2011 Malaysian GP at the Sepang International Circuit. In fourth position during lap two, Simoncelli's bike veered across the track and straight into the path of Edwards and Rossi. Edwards was injured with a dislocated shoulder, while Simoncelli lay still on the track after the crash, his helmet having come off during the incident. The race was immediately red-flagged.
He was taken by ambulance to the circuit's medical centre, but at 16:56 local time it was announced that he had died from his injuries. Later, at a press conference involving members of the MotoGP Race Direction, Medical Director Michele Macchiagodena said that Simoncelli sustained "a very serious trauma to the head, to the neck and the chest", and was administered cardiopulmonary resuscitation for 45 minutes.