By Marjorie Gorospe
MANILA CITY, METRO MANILA— Four-time national superbike champion Maico Buncio died Sunday after suffering serious injuries following a crash a day before during time trials in Clark Field, Pampanga.
Buncio, who many acknowledged as the country's fastest man on two wheels, was pronounced dead Sunday afternoon at the UST Hospital. His remains lie at the Loyola Memorial Chapels in Guadalupe, Makati.
The 22-year-old rider was riding at high speed before a freak accident threw him off his bike into a steel railing, puncturing his internal organs.
Upon hearing news of Buncio's death, organizers canceled all races at the Clark International Speedway as participants and motorsports enthusiasts offered a minute of silence.
Last March, Buncio was named the Golden Wheel Awards' Driver of the Year, winning over some of the biggest names in the local racing scene today.
He was also chosen as the official representative of the Team Suzuki Pilipinas and the country’s official representative to the Asia Road Racing Championship, where he was supposed to use a Suzuki GSXR 600cc bike in the SuperSports 600cc category.
In an interview with loQal.ph last March, Buncio talked about his preparations for the said event and shared his thoughts about motorsports in the country.
“We see many bikes roving around all over the country and I take it as a sign that there is a future for us Filipinos in this sport. I am just happy that I can help raise the bar when it comes to superbike racing,” he said.
Buncio, who started racing at the age of 3, was hailed for bringing back the excitement in local motorsports, breaking records in the underbone and 400cc superbike-class categories at the Batangas Racing Circuit (BRC). He won the Superbike category four years in a row.
In 2007, which he personally considers his most memorable year, he won over veterans Jolet Jao and Glen Aguilar.
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