Quartararo dedicates Italian Grand Prix win to Dupasquier

By Sports Desk May 30, 2021

Fabio Quartararo acknowledged his win at Sunday's Italian Grand Prix did not leave him with a "great feeling" following the death of Moto3 rider Jason Dupasquier.

Swiss rider Dupasquier, 19, was struck by another bike after falling and slid along the track at Mugello in qualifying on Saturday. 

It was announced before Sunday's MotoGP race that he had died in hospital from his injuries. 

Quartararo became the first rider to win in Mugello after starting from pole position since 2014, extending his lead over Johann Zarco at the top of the championship standings to 24 points with five races completed. 

Quartararo was in no mood to celebrate, though, the 22-year-old revealing he thought about Dupasquier every time he went past the part of the course where the fatal incident happened. 

"Strange, strange day," Quartararo told reporters. "Honestly, there were a lot of emotions before starting the race.

"I get emotional really fast in every condition, so to start the race during that one minute of silence was really difficult and every time I crossed turn nine, I was thinking about Jason.

"This one is for him. It's not a great feeling. You achieve a win, but we lose one of our friends. So, it's not easy."

Meanwhile, Marc Marquez's hopes of securing a strong result in his fourth race since returning from a broken arm were ended at turn three on the second lap when he made contact with Brad Binder.

Marquez accepted responsbility for his early exit and said he is looking forward to getting his season back on track at the Barcelona-Catalunya circuit next weekend.

"If someone is to blame it is me because he was coming from behind," he told DAZN. "I tried to overtake him on turn two. Several riders from the lane have fallen in that chicane.

"I was going to one side and he was coming to the other and he closed in front of me. Fortunately, I fell by myself.

"We have taken a little step this weekend. We have understood several things and we are lucky that next week we will be running again. I have not completed 23 laps at Mugello and I want to see if I can continue with my progression."

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    Max Verstappen believes Red Bull made a perfect call to switch tyres as he went from last on the grid to finish second at the Russian Grand Prix.

    Lewis Hamilton claimed his 100th Formula One triumph in Sunday's race in Sochi, the reigning world champion passing Lando Norris, who saw his chances of clinching victory from his maiden pole slip away when he lost control in the rain with just three laps to go.

    Hamilton's win moves him ahead of Verstappen in the championship standings, but the Dutchman ensured the gap is only two points as he charged up to second.

    Verstappen had started at the back of the grid after Red Bull installed a new engine to his car, though he said the key to his podium finish was a decision to switch to intermediate tyres as the rain closed in.

    "I'm super happy of course to be second," Verstappen said.

    "If you would have told me this morning that I would come second today, I wouldn't believe you. But luckily the call to go from the slicks to the inters was the perfect one I think, the right lap. Super pleased for this.

    "When the rain came, I think at the end of the day we made the right call and the right lap to box, because the lap before, probably if we would have boxed, I would have destroyed the inters in that one or two laps because of it still being a bit too dry for two-thirds of the track.

    "So to basically go from seventh to second for us was an amazing result."

    Reflecting on what Hamilton's landmark win means for the title race, Verstappen added: "It could of course have been a lot worse in terms of how many points I would lose.

    "Especially also with the conditions, it's already very hard to pass. But then also today because of track conditions and whatever, the tyres were graining a lot, so you also couldn't really push or stay close to someone. All in all to come away with second here was, of course, very important."

    Norris, meanwhile, was left to lament his misfortune as the win slipped from his grasp.

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    "I felt like I did everything I could, even when it got tricky at the end."

  • Hamilton: Mercedes have 'work cut out' to beat Verstappen and Red Bull Hamilton: Mercedes have 'work cut out' to beat Verstappen and Red Bull

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  • Hamilton clinches 100th victory at Russian Grand Prix to snatch championship lead Hamilton clinches 100th victory at Russian Grand Prix to snatch championship lead

    Lewis Hamilton collected his 100th Formula One victory at the Russian Grand Prix on Sunday after pipping Lando Norris to top spot.

    Norris, who secured pole position and was eyeing a maiden victory, spun off the track with three laps to go as rain started to cause chaos in Sochi.

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    McLaren, who collected their first win since 2012 at the Italian Grand Prix last time out, were left heartbroken as Norris limped to a seventh-placed finish, with Max Verstappen making important ground to finish second.

    Verstappen, who led the championship going into the race, had started from the back of the grid after Red Bull had a new engine installed, but he magnificently recovered to make the podium and ensure Hamilton moves into just a two-point lead.

    Carlos Sainz took the lead on the first corner, with Norris, George Russell and Lance Stroll in close company.

    Daniel Ricciardo, who would eventually settle for fourth, was back in fifth as Hamilton and Fernando Alonso looked to make ground on the McLaren man who was the shock Monza winner.

    Verstappen, meanwhile, was climbing slowly up the grid as he overtook Valtteri Bottas and then Charles Leclerc, moving ominously through the field.

    Norris' pole position looked to be paying off when Alonso and Perez had to pit, giving the 21-year-old the lead with 16 laps to go.

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    Mercedes made the early decision to put on the inters as their rain radar suggested the wet weather was going to come before the finale.

    With others choosing to stick out there and get through it, Hamilton surged into a late lead as Norris' tyres failed him, while Bottas climbed up from 17th on the grid to finish fifth to prove the Mercedes team's decision was an excellent one.

    McLaren mistake

    A visibly upset Norris addressed the television cameras after the race in Sochi but stood by the decision to stay out there.

    The Briton battled to pole position in the adverse conditions the previous day but, for as long as Norris remains without a race win, this will resemble a missed opportunity for him and for McLaren to collect back-to-back wins after their success in Monza.


    IN THE POINTS

    1. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)
    2. Max Verstappen (Red Bull) +53.271
    3. Carlos Sainz (Ferrari) +1:02.475
    4. Daniel Ricciardo (McLaren) +1:05.607
    5. Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes) +1:07.533
    6. Fernando Alonso (Alpine) +1:21.321
    7. Lando Norris (McLaren) +1:27.224
    8. Kimi Raikkonen (Alfa Romeo) +1:28.955
    9. Sergio Perez (Red Bull) +1:30.076
    10. George Russell (Williams) 1:40.551

    CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS

    Drivers

    1. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) 246.5
    2. Max Verstappen (Red Bull) 244.5
    3. Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes) 151
    4. Lando Norris (McLaren) 139
    5. Sergio Perez (Red Bull) 120

    Constructors

    1. Mercedes 397.5
    2. Red Bull 364.5
    3. McLaren 234
    4. Ferrari 216.5
    5. Alpine 103

    WHAT'S NEXT?

    There is another two-week gap until the next race, which is the rearranged Turkish Grand Prix.

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