Riders were willing to cancel Catalunya GP

Riders were willing to cancel Catalunya GP
By AutoSport

04/06/2016 at 18:37

The cancellation of MotoGP's Catalunya Grand Prix was a genuine option if suitable track modifications could not be made after Luis Salom's fatal accident, Marc Marquez says.

The Spanish Moto2 rider lost his life following an accident at Turn 12 in Friday afternoon's second practice session.

Marquez was one of 10 MotoGP riders who attended a safety commission meeting afterwards, in which a switch to Barcelona's Formula 1 layout was agreed after Salom's family had given its blessing for the event to continue.

'No explanation' for Salom accident

But had the scope to switch to an alternate configuration not existed, Marquez acknowledges the situation could have been different.

"Yesterday all the riders agreed that if we don't have some changes in this corner, we cancel," the Honda rider said.

"In the past, this corner, some riders crashed and we put in a full air fence, but you never imagine that the bike will be there and you will hit the bike.

"It is a possibility, like we saw yesterday, and we were lucky in this other aspect, because there was this other track [configuration available].

"We were agreed that if nothing changed in this corner, we would cancel the race."

When a decision to proceed with the race had been taken, the first proposal was to build a gravel trap with an incline on top of the asphalt.

The scope to switch to the different layout, also incorporating a reprofiled Turn 10 and providing additional run-off, was decided as the best course of action.

Based on further feedback from the riders who attended the safety commission meeting, the chicane complex was then altered from the F1 specification, with a wall moved and additional track limits imposed.

Marquez says the response from Salom's family was also crucial.

"It was the first possibility," he added of cancelling the race.

"But then Carmelo [Ezpeleta, Dorna CEO] together with us called the team manager of Luis and he called also his manager and his family because the family was destroyed.

"But what they said to us was that if Salom was alive, he would like to race.

"This I think was a hard decision, of course, but I think it's the correct one."

When the top three riders on grid for Sunday's race and Moto2 and Moto3 polesitters Johann Zarco and Brad Binder were asked if they would have rather the event be cancelled, Dani Pedrosa offered: "I wouldn't mind.

"Sure you need to keep going because you cannot stick in the place, but after such a terrible thing, I would not mind to cancel it."