Luis Salom’s death totally changed the way Alex Rins raced at the Catalan GP

Sharon Wong
Subscriber

Far be it from us to call anyone’s death a boon in any way. But the bitter taste of grief at Salom’s passing was what gave Rins’ performance the extra edge it needed to end him second on the podium in Catalunya.

Source: Rainer Herhaus/Shutterstock
Source: Rainer Herhaus/Shutterstock

You’d expect an event like a colleague’s sudden, tragic death to completely deflate everyone around him. But far from taking the wind out of their sails, it actually buoyed them to make a good show of it in his honour. Rins and Johann Zarco were by far the most motivated pair, battling for supremacy until it was clear that Zarco would be the winner. Rins started off well and established a lead by the end of the first lap, but Zarco gained on him and made it obvious that he would hold the first position till the finish line. Still, Rins is far from discouraged by the outcome. All that counts is that he put in a good fight in memory of his compatriot and fellow racer.

“It has been a complicated and hard week, with many emotions and strange sensations. As for the race, I knew that it was myself and Zarco who had the best race pace. I pushed from the start, because I wanted to get the best possible result for Luis. Zarco seems to have a bit extra and was comfortable behind me. He passed me and I tried to follow, but couldn’t and I thought that second place was a good result for what was such a difficult weekend.”

Alex Rins

There are many ways to manifest sorrow and this is one of the most productive, ferocious expressions we’ve seen of it thus far. Despite his not making it to that coveted first place, we’re sure that Salom will agree wholeheartedly.