Fabio Quartararo dominated Sunday’s Italian MotoGP at a sombre Mugello circuit shaken by the death of Swiss 19-year-old Moto3 rider Jason Dupasquier, who succumbed to injuries sustained in a multi-bike qualifying crash.
“We all know the risks, but its hard to lose one of your own,” said Yamaha’s French world championship leader, who held up a Swiss flag on the podium in honour of a “friend” whose life was tragically cut short.
“This one’s for Jason. I didn’t really know him, he was just a kid. I tried to put it out of my mind but I thought of him every time I went past where it happened.”
MotoGP said on Twitter: “We’re deeply saddened to report the loss of Jason Dupasquier.
“On behalf of the entire MotoGP family, we send our love to his team, his family and loved ones. You will be sorely missed, Jason. Ride in peace.”
Dupasquier’s personal Instagram account posted a heartbreaking account about the tragedy that saw the talented teenager taken off life support.
“As you have all seen on the internet, Jason Dupasquier has left us, he was declared brain dead early this Sunday morning,” the post read. “We waited for all his family to be gathered around him in order to disconnect the aids that kept him alive and he left this Sunday evening surrounded by the people he loved.
“Thank you for all your support. Rest in peace Jason Dupasquier #JD50. Amen.”
A post shared by Jason Dupasquier (@jasondupasquier50)
Dupasquier, in his second season in Moto3, fell and was struck by at least one bike before sliding along the track at turn nine during qualifying.
Doctors rushed to the scene and after attending to him for 40 minutes on the circuit had him flown to hospital.
The rider described as “a leading light of Swiss motorsport” passed away in hospital in Florence after suffering severe brain damage and undergoing chest surgery overnight.
Japan’s Ayumu Sasaki and Spaniard Jeremy Alcoba were the others involved in the horrific accident. Organisers reported that both were “fine”.
Alcoba paid tribute to Dupasquier after the race. “I just want to give all my strength and condolences to Jason’s family … and I also want to give him all my support,” Alcoba wrote on Instagram.
Sasaki commented on the Instagram post saying: “We will never forget him and always in our heart He will be watching us trying to achieve our and Jason’s goal to MotoGP.”
Quartararo added: “It was a strange day, a lot of emotion, every time I passed turn nine I was thinking about Jason.
“It’s not a great feeling, you achieve a win but we lose one of our friends.”
Australian MotoGP star Jack Miller was among a legion of the sport’s leading figures to pay tribute to Dupasquier, the Ducati rider posting on Twitter: “Rest In Peace Jason, thinking of his family and team” alongside a red heart.
F1 star Alex Albon tweeted: “Two wheels or four. We race as one. Thoughts going to Jason’s family and friends.”
Medicos tried valiantly to save Dupasquier’s life (Photo by Tiziana FABI/AFP).Source:AFP
Riders observe a minute of silence before the start of the Italian Grand Prix (Photo by Tiziana FABI/AFP).Source:AFP
The Careggi hospital in Florence treating Dupasquier confirmed to AFP that the teenager had suffered brain injuries “incompatible with life”.
Motorcycling’s governing body the FIM, the teams’ IRTA umbrella association, and the sport’s commercial rights holder DORNA issued a joint statement on the tragic news.
“Following a serious incident in the Moto3 Qualifying 2 session at the Gran Premio d’Italia, it is with great sadness that we report the passing of Moto3 rider Jason Dupasquier,” it read.
His team, Pruestel GP, had already pulled out of Sunday’s race, and Tom Luthi, a Swiss Moto2 rider, also withdrew to be close to Dupasquier’s family at the hospital.
Dupasquier, whose father Philippe was a former motocross rider, was in his second season in Moto3. Racing for his German team he finished his rookie Moto3 campaign last year pointless, 28th in the overall standings.
After five races in 2021 he was placed 10th with 27 points.
The FIM joint statement noted: “Dupasquier had made an impressive start to his second season in the lightweight class of Grand Prix racing, consistently scoring points and within the top ten in the standings.
“The FIM, IRTA, MSMA and Dorna Sports pass on our deepest condolences to Dupasquier’s family, friends, team and loved ones.”
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