Jerez MotoGP: Quartararo wins as Marquez crashes hard

Fabio Quartararo took an historic first MotoGP win in a dramatic Spanish Grand Prix at Jerez, while Marc Marquez suffered a huge accident in the closing stages.

Jerez MotoGP: Quartararo wins as Marquez crashes hard

Maverick Vinales utilised Yamaha’s new holeshot device to seize the lead from second on the grid, and tried to build a lead immediately using the added grip of the soft front tyre he and teammate Valentino Rossi gambled on.

But Marquez went with the Yamaha rider and engaged in battle on the third lap, scything his way up the inside at Turn 5 but running wide.

Marquez used the power of the Honda to draw alongside Vinales in the run into the Pedrosa corner and took the lead.

Displaying devastating race rhythm in FP4, Marquez already began to settle into a rhythm Vinales couldn't match when he lost the front of the Honda through Turn 4.

Pulling a miraculous save and keeping the bike upright, Marquez managed to rejoin in 16th while Vinales was released into the lead.

However, Vinales’ hopes of victory faded along with his soft front tyre as he began to struggle, allowing Quartararo and Jack Miller on the Pramac Ducati to close right in.

Quartararo took the lead away from his Yamaha stablemate at the last corner on lap nine, while Marquez had recovered to 10th and was on podium pace.

The Petronas Yamaha rider instantly used the cornering ability of the M1 to ease away from the chasing pack, his lead standing at six seconds at one stage before he eased off in the last laps.

Marquez’s charge through the field was merciless, and with five laps to go the world champion had dispatched Miller for third, with the ailing Vinales firmly in his sights.

Right on the tail of Vinales on lap 22, the rear of Marquez’s Honda let go as they rounded Turn 3 and the Spaniard clattered into the ground.

Put into a neck brace and looking in considerable pain with his arm, Marquez was loaded into the back of an ambulance.

Quartararo didn’t put a foot wrong over the final laps to ease to his maiden win at the start of his sophomore campaign to end a drought for France in MotoGP dating back to Regis Laconi’s Valencia victory in 1999.

It’s also the first race win for a satellite Yamaha team in the MotoGP era.

Vinales held onto second at the chequered flag, while Andrea Dovizioso put his works team Ducati into third after a late move on Miller.

Miller fended off the sister Petronas M1 of Franco Morbidelli and KTM’s Pol Espargaro for fourth, while Francesco Bagnaia (Pramac), Tech 3’s Miguel Oliveira, Ducati’s Danilo Petrucci and the sole LCR Honda of Takaaki Nakagami completed the top 10.

Johann Zarco’s first race for Avintia Ducati ended with an 11th-place finish, while Alex Marquez was top rookie on the Honda in 12th ahead of Brad Binder (KTM), Tito Rabat (Avintia) and Aprilia’s Bradley Smith.

In a race of high attrition, Valentino Rossi dropped out with a technical issue late one, while there were crashes for Joan Mir on the Suzuki, Tech 3’s Iker Lecuona and Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia).

Injuries ruled Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda) and Alex Rins (Suzuki) out of the first race.

MotoGP Spanish Grand Prix - Full results:

Cla # Rider Bike Laps Gap
1 20 France Fabio Quartararo Yamaha 25  
2 12 Spain Maverick Viñales Yamaha 25 4.603
3 4 Italy Andrea Dovizioso Ducati 25 5.946
4 43 Australia Jack Miller Ducati 25 6.668
5 21 Italy Franco Morbidelli Yamaha 25 6.844
6 44 Spain Pol Espargaro KTM 25 6.938
7 63 Italy Francesco Bagnaia Ducati 25 13.027
8 88 Portugal Miguel Oliveira KTM 25 13.441
9 9 Italy Danilo Petrucci Ducati 25 19.651
10 30 Japan Takaaki Nakagami Honda 25 21.553
11 5 France Johann Zarco Ducati 25 25.100
12 73 Spain Alex Marquez Honda 25 27.350
13 33 South Africa Brad Binder KTM 25 29.640
14 53 Spain Tito Rabat Ducati 25 32.898
15 38 United Kingdom Bradley Smith Aprilia 25 39.682
  93 Spain Marc Marquez Honda 21 4 Laps
  27 Spain Iker Lecuona KTM 19 6 Laps
  46 Italy Valentino Rossi Yamaha 18 7 Laps
  41 Spain Aleix Espargaro Aprilia 2 23 Laps
  36 Spain Joan Mir Suzuki 1 24 Laps
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