Maico Greg Buncio

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Maico Greg T. Buncio (10 September 1988-15 May 2011) was a 22-year old Filipino motorcycle racer who was considered as the Philippines' fastest man on two wheels. The racing prodigy died in an accident while completing his practice run on the Clark International Speedway.


Family

From Mandaluyong City, Buncio is the son of Gregorio “Yoyong” Buncio, a motorcycle racer, mechanic, and modifier. His mother is Mylene Buncio and he has four other siblings, namely Lourdes, Shara, Jackquelyn, and Barney.


Early life and career

Buncio's father gave him the name “Maico” from a European motorcycle brand. At the age of three, he had started to learn riding motorcycles before bicycles. His training began early under the mentoring of his experienced father.

Buncio started his motocross competition career at the age of eight. He won first place in the 1996 FBO Motorcross Series 50cc category for ten years old and below held at the TRANSNIJAK Race Track in Tagaytay City.

At the age of 14, Buncio represented the Philippines in Perris, California at the FMF Memorial Day Motorcross Races, winning first place in the Mini Class 85cc for the 14 years old and below category.


Education

Buncio took up bachelor of science in commerce, majoring in entrepreneurship at the University of Santo Tomas . Buncio was a consistent honor student since elementary.

Career

Buncio was the sole representative of the Philipines in the 2004 Yamaha ASEAN Cup held at Shah Alam, Malaysia, where he raced against competitors from Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, and Indonesia. He won the fourth overall title for the country despite having to start from the back of the grid and having to race against five representing riders each from the other competing countries. This feat earned him the title Rookie of the Year from the organizers of said event.

Yamaha rider Buncio dominated the underbone racing 150 cc category for four years since 2006 before placing second to Suzuki rider Johnlery Enriquez in the 2010 event sponsored by Motorcycle Taipei Research Team and PAGCOR Sports.

Buncio moved on to the 400cc Superbike class racing and won the Formula 400 San Mig Café Road Race Championship on 17 September 2011 beating the winning streak of three-time Superbike winner and 400cc champion Aries Padiernos.

Buncio also broke records at the 3.2-kilometer Batangas Racing Circuit with a lap time of one minute, 49 seconds (400cc Superbike category) and two minutes, seven seconds (Underbone category).

2007 was the the “most memorable” for Buncio when, at the age of 19, he broke the winning streak of ten-time Rider of the Year, Jolet Jao in the 2007 Shell Advance Superbikes Series. Buncio held the Superbike National Champion title for the next three years.

In 2009, Buncio was chosen as the endorser for Accel Sports Sporteum Philippines Inc.

Buncio was also awarded the Golden Wheel Awards Driver of the Year in March 2010.


Death

On 14 May 2011, Maico Buncio fell from a high speed accident during the Superbike qualifying race at the Clark International Speedway Racing Circuit. While passing a semi-straight right hand sweeper on the speedway, Buncio's Suzuki GSX-R 600 motorbike slid and crashed into the run-off section. He was thrown off his bike and landed on an unfinished barrier in the race track. Buncio crashed onto a protruding steel rod of the barrier, which punctured his internal organs, fatally damaging his kidney and liver.

Buncio was thrown off some 100 meters from his bike and was impaled on a protruding reed bar in an unfinished barrier on the Clark Speedway Circuit. He was rushed to a nearby hospital in Mabalacat and transferred to the UST Hospital in the wee hours of May 15 and was pronounced dead at 3:57 PM on the same day due to massive internal bleeding. The father of the late superbike champion Maico Buncio raised questions over the first aid procedure done on the rider during his fatal crash at the Clark Speedway Circuit.

He said that the Aeromed’s medical response team pulled the victim’s body from the steel bar. This, he said, might have caused his son’s death. The bar punctured his body and damaged his kidney and liver. Instead of cutting the steel bar to free Maico, the AeroMed emergency staffers decided to pull the young motorcycle champion free from his entanglement. This, they learned later, caused massive internal damage to Maico’s organs and prompted him to scream in pain.

AeroMed, one of the largest Philippines' ambulances, provides service via fixed or rotary wing aircraft, ICU patient transport, ambulance standby, medical personnel provision, Emergency Medical Service Management including conversion of any van vehicle to ambulance fit. Nonetheless, it was alleged that the gross negligence of Aeromed Philippines' medics who came to the rescue and purportedly carelessly yanked him out from the steel bars that penetrated through his body and damaged his liver and kidney just placed a big question mark on the credibility and security of the said air ambulance company.

Dr. Reynante Mirano, chief of St. Luke’s Hospital Emergency Medicine, said that instead of pulling Buncio’s body from the protruding metal, the medics should have cut the steel bar.

Maico Buncio left a memorable quote to his fellow riders "Never stop riding, because I didn't."

Buncio's wake was held in the Loyola Memorial Chapels in Makati City and he was laid to rest in the Loyola Memorial Park in Marikina City on 21 May 2011. A motorcade organized by his fellow riders marked his funeral procession.

References


Citation

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