Fabio Quartararo wins emotional Italian Grand Prix at Mugello
Fabio Quartararo converted his fourth pole position into a third victory of the 2021 season at an emotional Italian Grand Prix.
A minute’s silence preceded the race at Mugello in memory of Swiss teenager Jason Dupasquier, who died following a crash during Moto3 qualifying on Saturday.
When the lights went out at the start of the 23-lap race, pole-setter Quartararo was first away but the power of the Lenovo Ducati saw Pecco Bagnaia into turn one in first with Pramac Ducati’s Johann Zarco third.
On the second lap, the race for the lead took a dramatic turn as Bagnaia crashed out at turn 9 leaving the Yamaha of Quartararo out front ahead of Zarco.
Zarco had his turn at the front on lap three but Quartarao hit back on lap five and immediately opened a gap. A few laps later and Miguel Oliveira on the KTM was all over the back of Zarco with the Suzuki’s of Alex Rins and Joan Mir making life difficult for Ducati’s Jack Miller in fourth.
Rins and Mir dealt with Miller by lap eight and set their sights on Zarco and Oliveira in second. Lap 18 and both Mir and his team-mate Rins were through to third and fourth but Rins crashed out, for the fourth time this year.
Quartararo won by nearly three seconds from Oliveira with reigning champion Mir third. Quartararo has now stretched his advantage at the top of the championship to 105 points - 24 ahead of Zarco.
“In short, there was a lot of emotion today,” said Quartararo.
“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.”
Remy Gardner won the Moto2 race as Sam Lowes crashed out of second with six laps to go. Jake Dixon finished 14th.
Dennis Foggia was a popular winner of his home Grand Prix in the Moto3 race.
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