MotoGP World Championship – Catalunya Grand Prix 2016

Miller makes first top ten

Jack Miller concluded the Grand Prix of Catalunya by making it to the top ten for the first time in his MotoGP career. A performance that the Australian dedicated to the memory of Luis Salom, who died after a terrible crash in the practice test sessions.

The Races

Despite the sadness of losing one of their team during the practice test sessions, the riders unanimously decided to take the start of the Grand Prix in Barcelona. The best thing to do to honour the memory of the late Luis Salom. On a circuit modified after Friday’s drama, Jack Miller managed to take the checkered flag in tenth position.

“I successfully managed the wear of the tires on a track which was very hot,” commented the Australian who had never yet made it to the top ten since his debut in the premier-class category. “I made the most of my bike, and that will give me confidence for the rest of the season.”

After being operated for a broken collarbone only two weeks ago, Tito Rabat showed his steel in making it to the finish. He also finished in the points with a fine 14th place taken on the last lap from Michele Pirro.

In Moto2, Alex Marquez was in line for his first podium when he lost control of his Kalex without the slightest warning. The former Moto3 world champion nonetheless managed to finish 18th. Struggling with the grip of his rear tire, Franco Morbidelli finished 11th.

The Championship

In chalking up six points in Barcelona, Miller gained two places overall in the MotoGP championship. He is now 25 points behind his teammate, who has not scored any points since the race in Austin.

In Moto2, Morbidelli is now placed tenth overall, but only ten points behind fifth place.

Finishing twenty-second, Marquez has not scored any points since the Grand Prix of the Americas in Texas.

The Background

The MotoGP World Championship was overshadowed in Barcelona by the tragic death of Luis Salom, the 24-year old Spanish rider who was racing in Moto2. Luis was the victim of a terrible accident on Friday afternoon during the second free practice session. Having lost control at the entry of turn twelve, he violently struck his bike as he slid into the inflatable protections placed against the outside wall. Despite the immediate intervention of the emergency medical services, he could not be resuscitated.

After Daijiro Kato in 2003, Shoya Tomisawa in 2010 and Marco Simoncelli in 2011, Luis Salom is the fourth rider to be killed in the last thirteen years.

Following the tragedy, the organizers decided to continue the Catalunya Grand Prix program but not without first consulting Luis’ family. The layout of the circuit was modified however for safety reasons, after the race organizers decided in agreement with the riders to adopt the configuration usually reserved for the Formula 1 Grand Prix.

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