Thousands of mourners have gathered in the streets of Coriano, Italy to bid farewell to the MotoGP rider Marco Simoncelli who died in an accident at the Malaysian Grand Prix Sunday.

The 24-year-old's hearse arrived at the Santa Maria Assunta church in the central Italian town just before 3pm local time.

Family, members of Team Gresini and various guests including seven-time world champions Valentino Rossi attended the funeral while an estimated 6,000 fans gathered outside to watch the service on big screens.

Simoncelli lost control of his bike on the exit of Turn 11 and was hit first by Colin Edwards and then by Rossi, knocking his helmet off and causing "serious trauma" to his head, neck and chest. He was taken to the medical centre for treatment but died from his injuries.