Moto2 Rider Killed at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya

A tough day for motorsport.

Marco Lazzari GP/Getty

Spanish motorcycle racer Luis Salom has died following a Moto2 wreck during Friday practice for this weekend’s Catalunya Grand Prix. He was 24-years old.

According to a statement by MotoGP, the incident occurred at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya’s high-speed Turn 12 complex. Multiple ambulances, medical cars and a helicopter were all dispatched immediately for treatment on-site. Salom was then transferred to a nearby hospital, where he underwent emergency surgery, but ultimately succumbed to his injuries at 4:55 local time.

At this point, the cause of wreck remains unknown, but reports indicate Salom was the only rider involved. After viewing the circuit’s security camera footage, some are speculating that mechanical failure, not rider error, might be the culprit.

"We have to see if something broke on his bike," says Valentino Rossi, the nine-time MotoGP World Champion. "It appeared he went straight."

Salom, who was riding for the SAG Team when he was killed, made his World Championship in 2009. He was soon a title contender, finishing as runner-up in the points standings for 2012 and third overall the next season before moving to Moto2. He recently finished second in this year’s season-opening race in Qatar.