Fabio Quartararo crossed the finish line before anyone else. Only. Trusted. And in his box, Tom Mauvat, his assistant, his friend, raised a Swiss flag that would end up around the neck of the winner of the Italian GP.
The victory was dedicated to Jason Dupasquier, a 19-year-old Moto3 rider who passed away the same Sunday morning when dozens of colleagues put on their helmets and rode their motorcycles to compete again. Life goes on.
It continues even though the paddock count one less of yours. Despite the fact that the MotoGP race started just moments after gathering everyone present on the same finish line in a minute of thunderous silence, the empty stands of Mugello, the throats and the shrunken stomachs. It continues, despite the assumption that motorcycle racing kills.
With that certainty, Quartararo went out to the track, which had the pole. Sure, however, of its possibilities. Solvent on track. He had no rival. Basically because the one who had, Pecco Bagnaia, rolled on the ground in the second lap when he tried to stop the French, in the lead, slowing down the pace. The strategy was perfect. His execution was not so. The Ducati rider lost control of his bike in Arrabiata and gave way to the Yamaha rider, who added his third win of the season and established himself as the MotoGP leader.
The race was not easy. Not so much because Mugello is one of the fastest tracks in the World Cup and the most physically demanding. But because you can’t turn off the head switch. “Every time I went through turn nine I was thinking about Jason,” confessed Quartararo, who burst into tears at the end of the race. Along with him, Miguel Oliveira, who managed to get on the podium for the first time this year, added: “I would love for this sport to not be so cruel, but it is the sport we love.”
With that passion and a point of selfishness – Joan Mir himself, world champion, third in Italy, confessed – each and every one of them went out to compete. Oliveira (KTM) came out plugged in, setting a magnificent first lap to place fourth, behind Zarco. And from there, crouching, he waited for his opportunity, which came with eight laps to go. It was the sentence for the Frenchman, who succumbed shortly after to Mir’s decision, lethal in overtaking. The other Suzuki, Rins, would also overtake Pramac’s, which would end up on the ground a few laps later.
It was one more crash, which was added to that of Bastianini, who bumped into Zarco during the warm-up lap, when he had not even started the race. To that of Bagnaia. To that of Márquez, who did not complete even two laps: he made a mistake, he played with Binder and now only thinks about the GP of Catalonia. Nakagami’s, another Honda out of place.
And the most bland podium in recent years, without uncorking bottles, without shouting or cheering, was starred by three men from three different brands: a Yamaha, a KTM and a Suzuki. There was hardly any trace of the Ducati, beyond the fourth place of Zarco’s satellite bike, who were left with nothing to celebrate at home. And much less of Honda, who has not won 20 grands prix, overturned as the development of the motorcycle has been in recent years in the riding of a Márquez who cannot regain strength in his right arm nor does he see a way to support the pain.
And although the victory went to a Yamaha, the Quartararo shone much more than the M1. In Viñales’ hands, the performance of the Japanese motorcycle is always unknown. He did not pass the eighth place this Sunday. Rossi was content to finish tenth in a year in which the results seem like they will never come.