Italian motorcycle racer Doriano Romboni has died in accident at an event in memory of his late compatriot Marco Simoncelli.

The 45-year-old lost control of his bike and veered across the track where he was hit by Gianluca Vizziello during one of the practice sessions for the Sic Supermoto Day  on Saturday. 

The session was immediately stopped as Romboni was given a cardiac massage on the track of the event, which was attended by  other well known riders, including former world champion Max Biaggi.

Romboni  was flown by helicopter to the Santa Maria Goretti di Latina hospital in the town of Latina, south of Rome, where he died three hours later.

Grew up watching him when I was a kid, such a great rider.

Ben Spies, former world superbike champion

Romboni competed between 1996-97 as an Aprilia factory rider in the 500cc category that is now MotoGP.

He was the winner of six grand prix in the 125cc and 250cc categories from 1990-1995 and also raced in world superbikes.

The dead rider had three children.

Those taking part in the event have decided to continue on Sunday to support Romboni's family. 

Simoncelli, known as "Sic",  died at the age of 24 at the 2011 Malaysian Grand Prix after he lost control and was hit by two bikes.

One motorbike was ridden by compatriot Valentino Rossi, the other by American Colin Edwards at the Sepang circuit.

"Grew up watching him when I was a kid, such a great rider," said the American former world superbike champion and MotoGP race winner Ben Spies on the social media website Twitter.  "Prayers to his family and friends."

Other riders, including Italy's Loris Capirossi and Marco Melandri, sent their condolences.

Source: Al Jazeera and agencies