Bagnaia criticises MotoGP, was ‘not correct to race’ after Dupasquier death

Pecco Bagnaia says he didn't want to compete in the Italian MotoGP upon learning of Jason Dupasquier's death, criticises MotoGP for letting it

Riders in minute's silencer - MotoGP, Dupasquier.jpg

Pecco Bagnaia has revealed he asked not to race in the Italian MotoGP in the wake of confirmation that Moto3 rider Jason Dupasquier had succumbed to injuries in an accident during the Italian MotoGP event at Mugello.

The 19-year old Swiss rider, competing in his second season of Moto3, fell during qualifying on Saturday [29 May] and was struck by two close following riders. Suffering serious head injuries, Dupasquier lost his fight for life around 24 hours later, with the announcement coming two hours before the MotoGP race.

With all riders participating in a minute’s silence on the grid 15mins before lights out, Ducati rider Bagnaia - due to start in second position - says he asked not to race, arguing that had it been a MotoGP rider that had been killed then it wouldn’t go ahead at all.

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"I asked to not race today," the Italian, who crashed out on lap two while leading, remarked to after the race. "It was not correct for me. If it happened to a MotoGP rider we wouldn’t race. I’m not happy about the decision of someone to let us race after news like this.

"It doesn’t matter if I crashed. I’m just thinking of him, his family. We have lost a 19-year-old rider. This is a very difficult to accept and difficult to accept the decision to let us race today."

Pointing to the confirmation of his death in the run up to the race coupled with the emotion of the minute’s silence, Bagnaia admits it was hard for him to reset his mentality with short notice.

“After the news I said to my team, to Davide [Tardozzi] that I was preferring to not race. [But] this is our work. We have to do it," he added.

"Already in 2016 when we lost Luis [Salom] I was in the same situation. Before the race we did one minute of silence and, like today, it was very difficult during the minute of silence to not let the tears come down.

"The hospital has to declare when someone passes away. It was a situation where it was very difficult. The thing I don’t accept is that we have raced today. Like I said before, if it happened to a MotoGP rider, we wouldn't race today."

As well as the pre-race tributes, race winner Fabio Quartararo dedicated his victory to the Dupasquier, holding the Swiss flag onto the podium in memory of the fallen rider

Dupasquier becomes the first GP rider to die as a result of injuries sustained on a race weekend since Moto2 rider Luis Salom died in an accident at the Catalunya MotoGP in 2016. 

They are among five to have died since the turn of the Millennium with Marco Simoncelli (2011), Shoya Tomizawa (2010), Dajiro Kato (2003).