Earlier today, June 3rd 2016, Moto2 rider Luis Salom passed away as a result of injuries sustained in an accident during free practice. MotoGP reported “It is with great sadness that we have to report the passing of Luis Salom. Despite the best efforts of the trauma team, he passed away at 16:55 local time”. Salom spent his time racing in the 2016 season with the SAG Racing Team, having previously run with Pons Racing. Salom achieved 3 podiums across 41 appearances in his Moto2 World Championship career.
Luis Salom: 1991-2016
Salom was 24 years old. News of Salom’s death spread quickly throughout the motor sport industry, with two-time Formula 1 World Champion and Spanish countryman Fernando Alonso posting on his Twitter (translated from Spanish): “That bad news. That rage. Sad. Rest in peace pilot. A big hug to the family and friends of Luis Salom”. These sentiments were also shared by the FC Barcelona association football team, as his accident took place in Barcelona, tweeting: “Our most sincere condolences for the death of motorcyclist Luis Salom in an accident at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. Rest in peace.”
As a result of Salom’s fatal accident, MotoGP has reported that they are to use the course layout more commonly found in Formula 1 for the Catalan Grand Prix. This decision was made after a meeting concerning safety was held between MotoGP drivers and officials, deeming the Formula 1 layout to be safer for riders, as it features a chicane before entering the 12th turn in which Salom had his accident. This chicane is not present in the MotoGP layout of the course. The remainder of scheduled events at the Catalan Grand Prix will go ahead as scheduled despite the tragic accident.
In true racing spirit, Salom’s final tweet expressed an excitement for the event that would take his life. Posting a photo of himself excitedly awaiting an opportunity to return to the course, Luis Salom tweeted (translated from Spanish): “Wanting FP1 and return to roll on [Catalunya]! This circuit is spectacular!”. Today, the racing world mourns his loss and commends his spirit and devotion to the sport from which he was taken far too early.