MotoGP: PrüstelGP pay tribute to the late Jason Dupasquier
The late Jason Dupasquier’s Carxpert PrüstelGP Team have vowed to continue racing in his honour following the Swiss rider's death at the Italian Grand Prix.
Dupasquier passed away on Sunday morning after succumbing to injuries sustained during a multi-rider incident at Mugello during the Moto3 Q2 session. The 19-year-old had been treated at the circuit before being airlifted to hospital in Florence.
The tragic news was announced following the conclusion of the Moto3 race at Mugello, and a one-minute silence was held on the grid prior to the MotoGP race. MotoGP riders and team bosses met at the front of the grid, alongside the PrüstelGP Team. Teammate Ryusei Yamanaka had withdrawn from the Moto3 race earlier in the team.
Prustel GP boss Florian Prustel has today paid tribute to Dupasquier, describing him as an "incredibly nice and funny guy, and a role model for many young talents."Dupasquier made his GP debut with the team last year and finished all 15 races during the Covid-hit 2020 season.
"After a one-day test with us after the 2019 Austria GP, Jason's first official appearance was in January 2020 at the Hockey Open Air in Dynamo Dresden's stadium, and in front of a crowd of almost 32,000," Prustel said in today's statement. "With two brilliant show runs, made possible by ADAC Sachsen, Jason Dupasquier brought a true, warming MotoGP atmosphere into the stadium with his Moto3-KTM in freezing cold conditions. It was a first taste of German Grand Prix, our home GP at the Sachsenring.
"As the son of successful ex-motocross rider Philippe Dupasquier, he was born with a passion for petrol and speed. In 2019, he competed in the Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup and gained experience in the CEV Moto3 Junior World Championship.
"2020 was expected to be a challenging year for the PrüstelGP team in sporting terms. Jason made his Moto3 debut in March 2020 at the GP of Qatar. For Jason Dupasquier and his last year's teammate, Barry Baltus, it was a difficult rookie year for learning and catching up with the best riders in their class.
"And then he was together with us for the 2020 Carxpert PrüstelGP Team Launch, in front of sponsors and numerous fans at the Sachsenring. This friendly Swiss with his charming accent was really appreciated by the racing community, thanks to his incredibly positive charisma. He quickly became a crowd favourite and for us it was the start of an extraordinary partnership."
Dupasquier made rapid progress in 2021, scoring points in each of the five races that took place before Mugello. He achieved his first top 10 finish in the opening race at Qatar, before achieving a career-best of seventh in Jerez.
"In 2021, everything was different,"Prustel added. "The hard training over the winter months paid off and we had a sensational start to the season with both riders in the points in the first five races. We were looking forward to our home GP, full of excitement with our two riders Jason Dupasquier and the Japanese Ryusei Yamanaka.
"Now we have to return to Sachsenring without Jason. But we want to honour Jason and race for him. We are extremely proud of what Jason Dupasquier has given us during his time with the PrüstelGP. He was doing a great improvement, being constantly in the points. We firmly believe that he was very close to his first podium in Moto3 World Championship.
"Now we want to go this last way together with him. We can't tell you today what will happen next - but one thing is for sure, it will continue - for Jason! "Always in our hearts" - we are a family and Jason will remain in our hearts forever. Let's stick together in this difficult time.We thank you from the bottom of our hearts for all your support and messages."
At this stage it's unclear whether the team will compete in Barcelona this weekend given the short time that will have passed since Dupasquier's passing.