Catalan GP close to cancellation before Salom family blessing

Marc Marquez says that cancelling the Catalan Grand Prix was a very real prospect after the passing of Luis Salom - but that a phone call to the fallen rider's family led to the eventual decision to continue.

Catalan GP close to cancellation before Salom family blessing
Luis Salom, SAG Racing Team
Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team
Jorge Lorenzo, Yamaha Factory Racing, Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team, Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda Team
Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda Team
Jorge Lorenzo, Yamaha Factory Racing
Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team
Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team
Johann Zarco, Ajo Motorsport
Johann Zarco, Ajo Motorsport
Johann Zarco, Ajo Motorsport
Johann Zarco, Ajo Motorsport

Moto2 rider Salom, 24, was fatally injured in a crash at Turn 12 during practice on Friday, and, in a subsequent meeting of a the Safety Commission, the riders discussed the idea of calling off the rest of the event.

"[Cancelling the race] was a possibility, it was the first possibility," Marquez clarified during the riders' press conference.

"But then Carmelo [Ezpeleta, Dorna boss], together with us, he called the manager, the team manager of Luis, then he called his family.

"Of course the family was destroyed, but they say to us that, if Salom were alive, he would have liked to race.

"This, I think, is a hard decision, of course, but I think it's the correct one. Both options were good."

Jorge Lorenzo, who was not present during the Safety Commission meeting, added: "They told us that they called his mother and she say that the decision that Luis wanted was for the weekend to keep going.

"So finally race direction decided to keep going - and we have to race."

Marquez's teammate Dani Pedrosa added: "I wouldn't mind [to cancel it]. Sure, you need to keep going, because you cannot stay in one place.

"But, after such a terrible thing... I would not mind to cancel."

Race wouldn't happen without changes

Marquez also restated that the drivers who were present at the Commission meeting would not have agreed to race on without changes to the layout, as alluded to by Ezpeleta earlier on Saturday.

"Yesterday all the riders were agreeing that, if we don't have some change in this corner, we cancel," Marquez said.

"Because already in the past this corner some riders arrive... then we put fuller fence, but you never imagine that the bike will be there and you will hit the bike, but it's a possibility like we saw yesterday.

"We were lucky in this aspect [that we could change the corner], but we [the riders] agreed that if nothing changed, we cancel the race."

Zarco insists on carrying on

An emotional Johann Zarco, the defending Moto2 champion, said that the field should have raced on even if no changes were made to the layout.

"If the family say it's good to race... I think it's good to race," said the Frenchman.

"Even if the circuit cannot be changed, even in this condition, it's never happened - there's been many accidents in this corner... and it looks like it was the day and the time for Luis.

"I think we must think positive and do all for him. He was a racer, he was passionate about motorbikes, he did [during] all winter a lot of training, was riding every day in Cartagena - it means he loved the bikes and he wanted the maximum to do the best.

"He cannot be here anymore, but if we race just thinking about him and do our job for him, we get something positive out of the disaster, we make the passion to our art."

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