Fabio Quartararo says he “had only the one thought of winning” the Italian Grand Prix in tribute of Jason Depasquier, the Swiss Moto3 rider who passed away on Sunday morning.
A black cloud covered the MotoGP paddock on Sunday after news broke of the passing of Depasquier following a nasty accident in qualifying for the lightweight class on Saturday afternoon, a minutes silence held ahead of the MotoGP race on Sunday afternoon.
Quartararo dominated proceedings after pulling clear of Johann Zarco’s Ducati in the early laps, the factory Yamaha racer taking the chequered flag 2.5 seconds clear of KTM’s Miguel Oliveira after 23 circulations of the Mugello venue.
The series points leader says he “didn’t care about anything else” but winning the race in memory of Depasquier after the tragic news was made public, though accepted he made “many mistakes” as he “struggled to remain focussed” while speaking to BT Sport shortly following the contest.
“Before the race I had only the thought of winning the race for him (Jason Depasquier), it was really not easy but at the end we achieved it,” explained Quartararo.
“I don’t know how I could keep focussed because every single lap I struggled to remain focussed but still maintained a great pace, I made many mistakes that you couldn’t see on TV and I’m not normally the rider to make many mistakes I’m always on the line.
“I was definitely riding a little bit wild, so it’s not the best feeling that I have today but at least I can say I did it for Jason.
“Honestly with what happened with Jason yesterday I don’t care about anything else, today was a war and anything less than a win was not a good result for me and you could see from my overtakes that I was a bit aggressive.
“We’ve heard a lot that these two races (Mugello and Barcelona) are for the Ducati and the maybe Assen and Sachsenring are for Yamaha, but we’ve shown that these are just words because there is no Ducati on the podium.
“I just focussed on my job and at the moment I think we are doing a great one.”
Quartararo has opened up a 26 point lead in the MotoGP riders standings as a result of his third win of the 2021 season, helped in part due to the early crash of closest title rival Francesco Bagnaia from the lead on the opening lap.
Zarco’s run to fourth currently leaves him as Ducati’s highest representative in the championship, Bagnaia now having slipped to third a further two points down on the Pramac rider.