Fabio Quartararo pays homage to Jason Dupasquier with a stellar victory in the Mugello circuit.
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Fabio Quartararo of Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP put on a masterclass in Italy during the weekend, returning to his winning ways at the Autodromo Internazionale del Mugello. This is the Frenchman’s first victory since his arm pump surgery and the team’s fourth of the 2021 season. Teammate Maverick Viñales secured a hard-fought eighth place in today’s emotional and physically demanding Gran Premio d’Italia Oakley.
Quartararo delivered a stellar performance at the Gran Premio d’Italia Oakley. He was resolved to win this race for the late Jason Dupasquier and did it in style. Maverick Viñales didn’t have the best of starts from 13th on the grid but recovered to 8th place at the chequered flag. Quartararo had to pull himself together after an emotional one-minute silence before the race start. Though concentrating afterwards was difficult, the Yamaha man was determined to race in Dupasquier’s honour.
Viñales had a difficult start from 13th on the grid and found himself in 16th place after the first lap. However, the Spaniard picked up two positions, and with two further riders crashing out, he moved up to 12th. He was at the back of a three-rider group fighting for tenth place, but after the first eight laps the group started to break apart. Eager to stay in contention for a top-10 finish, Top Gun picked up the pace.
With 15 laps to go, he overtook Pol Espargaró. He went on to set red and personal best sectors and soon also breezed past Danilo Petrucci. Next up was Michele Pirro, who put up a fight but in the end was no match for the Spaniard. On lap 13, Viñales made it stick. Having used up most of his medium tyres, it was too big an ask to close the over 4-second gap to the rider in ninth place. However, with two late crashers, the number-12 rider took eighth place over the finish line, 17.239s from first.
With the impressive victory, Quartararo extends his lead in the championship standings to 24 points, with 105 points in total. Viñales is now in sixth, with a 64 points total. Yamaha is back in first place in the constructor championship with 132 points in total, and the Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Team is also in first place in the team standings with 169 points.
The next MotoGP race weekend is scheduled to take place next week in Catalunya, Spain, at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya from 4th to 6th June 2021.
Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP)- As It Happened
“In short, there was a lot of emotion today. It was an amazing day for us, but it was so difficult to stay focused. 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. My strategy today was to see which position we would get with the use of the holeshot device. I am super happy with it, 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.”