SCARPERIA E SAN PIERO, Italy – Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP’s Fabio Quartararo claimed a commanding and emotional victory in Sunday’s Italian Garnd Prix at the Mugello Circuit.
The victory by Quartararo came after it was announced that Moto3 rider Jason Dupasquier passed away from injuries suffered in a qualifying crash Saturday.
“In short, there was a lot of emotion today. It was an amazing day for us, but it was so difficult to stay focused,” said Quartararo. “Honestly, I don‘t know how I was able to keep up this pace because every lap you do, you are thinking about Jason Dupasquier. It‘s not an easy thing to do, and I think that all the riders rode for him. My thoughts are with his family.”
After a lightning-fast start from the pole, Quartararo slotted into second behind Francesco Bagnaia. The Frenchman was all over the rear of the Ducati until Bagnaia crashed out on lap two and handed Quartararo the lead. Though briefly overtaken by Johann Zarco on the start-finish straight, the Yamaha rider quickly returned to the lead.
The next two laps continued to be a tug of war between the two, but then Quarataro put the hammer down and checked out. With 17 laps to go, he already had a more than one second advantage. At one point his advantage was more than four seconds. The remainder of the race was a lonely and slightly emotional ride, but Quartararo rode to a comfortable 2592-second victory.
“My strategy today was to see which position we would get with the use of the holeshot device. I am super happy with it,” said Quartararo. “I was in second place at the first corner. I remember 2019, when I started from second here and I think I was eighth or ninth in the first corner. So, it was amazing to arrive at the first corner in fourth gear and in second position today. I was riding easily behind Francesco Bagnaia, and when I saw him crash, I wanted to try to ride five laps at my maximum. But then Johann Zarco overtook me. So I said, “I need to do aggressive moves.’ First of all to make him lose time and also to open up a gap. I thought, ‘if I can hold on to first going into the first corner, it‘s good,’ and that‘s what happened. So, I‘m really happy about my race.”
Miguel Oliveira of Red Bull KTM Factory Racing ended up a distant second, with reigning MotoGP champion Joan Mir of Team Suzuki Ecstar completing the podium.