SAG Team Press Release: Telemetry Analysis Shows Cause of Salom's Crash

The SAG Team issued the following press release, containing their analysis of the data from Luis Salom's bike during the crash which cost the Spaniard his life:

Official SAG Team press release after the deep telemetry analysis done on Luis Salom’s bike

On Friday June 3rd Luis Salom passed away during the Gran Premi of Catalunya FP2 session after an accident suffered at the turn 12 of the Catalunya circuit.

After receiving the telemetry data yesterday Sunday June 5th by the organization, the technical staff of the SAG Team held immediately a meeting to personally determinate the facts of the accident and to communicate afterwards with exactitude what happened in technical terms at the fatal turn 12 of the Circuit of Catalunya. In the comprehensive analysis done on the telemetry data assisted the owner of the team Edu Perales, the team manager Jordi Rubio, the chief mechanic of Luis Salom Bernat Bassa, the chief mechanic of Jesko Raffin Michael Ferger, the Moto2 rider Jesko Raffin and the manager of Luis Salom Marco Rodrigo.

During the course of the FP2, Luis Salom faced his first laps and makes his best lap (1’48.608) before making his first pit stop to change the rear tire of the bike. After that, Salom comes back on the track and during that same out of the pits lap he suffers the accident. In that lap, Luis arrived to the turn 12 braking reference point 6 km/h slower than his fastest lap, according to the telemetry that was because a lower acceleration at the exit of turn 11. Due to that reduced speed, Luis operated the brakes 9 meters later to maintain a proper corner speed at the turn 12. At the entry of the corner there is an irregularity on the asphalt known by all the riders (bump). The delay of the braking instant made Luis to maintain the brakes operated running over that asphalt irregularity, as opposed the previous laps where he already had released the brakes on that spot. All of that added to an even speed than his best lap of the FP2 produced a stress on the front tire and a grip lost on the irregularity of the asphalt. That grip lost produced the crash with the tragic outcome that we all know.

These telemetry data provided by the organization are available to any qualified technician with desires to analyze it.

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Im assuming this will create the needed demand for the track to be resurfaced? Any buzz of that going on yet?

Are riders this precise?  Do they know they need to get the braking done before that bump?  Or is it more by feel?  And since he rode a little bit differently he encountered an unknown variable?

The precision of these riders is absolutely phenomenal, as is their memory. They know where every bump is, they know where to put their front tire at every point around the circuit within a few centimeters, there brake in the same place within a meter or two. It is hard to comprehend exactly how precise they are. 

... as an example, just look at Lorenzo's free practice times, or hell, race lap times for that matter.

he will vary by less than a tenth - over an entire lap.  so for each corner, on average maybe a thousandth or less on average.  yes, there will be some degree of brake modulation difference and braking point difference to trade off against each other to get the same corner entry speed and line, but the precision they have really is incredible.

As a track-day rider, i'm very happy when i can run laps on a 60-ish second laptime that are within 0.2-0.3 of each other...



The statement said that Salom braked 9 meters later than normal at that corner. When going slower, you can brake later. I think you have misunderstood the press release, which is understandable given that the translation is a little rough around the edges.

you made me go back, and yes they say he starts braking later because his speed was lower. No explanation as to why he continued to brake deeper into the corner than normal (past where he would normally release). If anything he should have been able to get off the brakes at his normal spot and had normal corner speed, if he judged his later braking correctly. 

It was a shame about Luis Salom, it was a freak accident but it could easily happen again too so was best to change the track and it was lucky they had the F1 layout.

A different type of air fence may be needed to stop the bike bouncing back off the air fence in the case were the rider is following the bike in. This may be difficult to achieve as time gap between rider following bike may be too short. Would need max corner speed limit, run off distance and type of run off and some sort of multi stage air fence.

Maybe some type of energy absorption material, like F1 uses, is needed with air fence to stop bike bouncing back. Anyway, I think some changes will come out of this later in the year.

I think the issue is that the air fence sits against the wall.  If the air fence (or something similar) were setup a half way between the track and the wall, then it would give the bike and rider time to deccelerate before the wall instead of possibly hitting it and bouncing off (as was the case).