Milan tragically died in a multi-rider incident in July during the European Talent Cup round at Aragon.
He was the second of three teenagers to have been killed this year in junior motorcycle races, following 19-year-old Jason Dupasquier’s passing after a crash during Moto3 qualifying at Mugello, while 15-year-old Dean Berta Vinales died in a World Supersport 300 incident at Jerez in September.
A moment of silence was held during the Aragon Grand Prix weekend when MotoGP arrived to the Spanish venue just over a month and a half after the Milan incident.
Marquez promised to do everything in his power to finish on the podium that weekend.
While admitting during the Aragon weekend that he knew opportunities for big results were few and far between in 2021 for him as he continues his recovery from the right arm injury, which ruled him out of the 2020 season, his desire to give any trophy he won to Milan’s family added extra incentive.
Marquez engaged in a race-long battle with Ducati’s Francesco Bagnaia, making seven attempts at a pass for the lead over the final three laps.
But the Ducati rider held firm to claim his maiden MotoGP victory, with Marquez trailing him home a close second.
Following his Aragon podium, Marquez donated his second-place trophy to the family of Milan – though didn’t want to make his gesture public.
Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team
Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images
But almost a month after the Aragon GP, his thoughtful gesture has finally come to light.
Marquez sent this message to the family to accompany the trophy: “Hugo; when all the MotoGP family paid tribute to you at MotorLand I promised myself that I would try to reach the podium with all my strength to give the trophy to all your family.
“Rest in peace, champion.”
Following the death of Dean Berta Vinales last month, the motorcycle racing world has strengthened its calls for change to be brought to the junior categories at European and international levels to improve safety.
Dorna Sports – owners of MotoGP and World Superbikes – has set up a working group within the organisation to discuss safety matters across all championships it oversees.