There could be a sense of deja vu at the Andalusia Grand Prix on Sunday as Fabio Quartararo goes in search of a second successive victory in the absence of Marc Marquez.

Quartararo secured his first MotoGP victory in the season-opening Spanish Grand Prix last weekend and sealed a third consecutive Jerez pole six days later.

Marquez suffered a fractured humerus when he crashed out on home soil last Sunday and despite courageously getting back on his bike just four days after having a titanium plate inserted in his right arm to attempt to qualify, he will not start the race.

Maverick Vinales will start in second spot after having the fastest lap in Q2 chalked off for exceeding track limits, with Francesco Bagnaia on the front row for the first time.

 

WHAT HAPPENED IN QUALIFYING

Petronas Yamaha rider Quartararo stormed to another pole with a lap of one minute, 37.007 seconds, but Vinales came agonisingly close to denying him.

The Spaniard went just a centimetre too wide coming out of Turn 7 when he was under Quartararo's pole-clinching time and so that lap was chalked off.

Bagnaia capitalised on progressing from Q1 by taking a career-best third, with Valentino Rossi taking fourth ahead of Miguel Oliveira - who was also able to reflect on his best qualifying performance in the premier class.

World champion Marquez was only on track briefly in Q1 before deciding he could not continue, having completed 10 laps in the final practice session and also gone out for FP3.

Cal Crutchlow will start in 13th despite undergoing wrist surgery this week.

 

THE STARTING GRID

1. Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha), 2. Maverick Vinales (Monster Energy Yamaha), 3. Francesco Bagnaia (Pramac Racing)
4. Valentino Rossi (Monster Energy Yamaha), 5. Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Tech 3), 6. Franco Morbidelli (Petronas Yamaha)
7. Jack Miller (Pramac Racing), 8. Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda), 9. Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing).
10. Joan Mir (Team SUZUKI ECSTAR), 11. Danilo Petrucci (Ducati), 12. Pol Espargaro (Red Bull KTM)
13. Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda), 14. Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati), 15. Johann Zarco (Reale Avintia Racing)
16. Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia), 17. Iker Lecuona (Tech 3 KTM), 18. Tito Rabat (Reale Avintia Racing)
19. Bradley Smith (Aprilia), 20. Alex Rins (Team SUZUKI ECSTAR), 21. Alex Marquez (Repsol Honda)

 

ANDALUSIA GRAND PRIX TALKING POINTS

Marquez and Repsol Honda came to the conclusion there was no point in taking any risks after he was unsurprisingly in discomfort when he returned to the track on Saturday, but he is hoping to return for the next round in Brno.

Opportunity knocks for the dominant Spaniard's rivals as they battle to dethrone him and Quartararo could leave Jerez on cloud nine if he takes the chequered flag again.

However, Vinales was only a whisker away from pole and there could be a pulsating battle to come in round two.

Alex Marquez will have to come from the back of the grid after he was also left clutching his arm following a crash on a tough start to the weekend for the family, with his brother ruled out.

 

WHAT THE RIDERS SAID

Fabio Quartararo (1st): "I was surprised to make pole position. I expect a really good race but we have a few riders who could pose a real challenge. We'll be trying our best to stay in front, stay focused, manage the pace and just do the best we can tomorrow."

Maverick Vinales (2nd): "Our potential was very strong today. My best lap time got cancelled, but I'm so happy because the bike is working so well. I can't wait for tomorrow's race."

Valentino Rossi (4th): "We still need time to work on the bike and to improve ourselves. The championship is shorter than usual this year but it is still long, and right now we will concentrate on improving ourselves rather than on the title. We will work hard for sure.”

Jack Miller (7th): "As it sits at the minute we're in this thing [the battle for the title]. We need to change our strategy. I think I've said all along, we've just got to get through these with as many points as possible, we're coming to tracks that I really do well at, and we'll be able to challenge."

Marc Marquez gave up on his hopes of racing at the Andalusia Grand Prix without an argument after deciding his battered body was not up to the job.

The six-time MotoGP champion only emerged from hospital on Thursday morning after suffering a fractured humerus in the first race of the MotoGP season last week in Jerez.

Back at the same track this weekend, Marquez was eyeing a near-miraculous return to action, having had a titanium plate fitted in his broken right arm.

And although he was fit enough to push himself through a bunch of push-ups, and complete a string of warm-up laps, the Spaniard conceded defeat when he began to feel pain around his elbow during qualifying practice on Saturday.

He said: "I already understood it would be very difficult to ride the bike and be able to finish the 25 laps in the race.

"After surgery I saw there was more possibility so I needed to try, and if you're a sportsman and have a passion for something, you try.

"I tried and it wasn't possible. What I did is only follow my body, and my body said, 'You must try' and that's what I did."

He began to feel optimistic during the early stages of practice, but feeling good soon gave way to agony, and that meant Sunday's race was out of the question.

"More than the bone, it was the elbow, a nerve or something like this and I lost the power immediately and this becomes dangerous," Marquez told motogp.com.

"I said to Honda I would try in QP1 - 'I will do one lap, and if I have the same feeling I'll stop and we give up' - and that's what we did."

Marquez intends to compete in the next round, at Brno in the Czech Republic on August 9.

"I passed on Thursday a tough medical check," said the 27-year-old. "Normally they are demanding, but they pushed me more than usual. I did 40 push-ups and this is something that even if I'm fit it's difficult, but it was possible.

"I promised Honda if I felt unsafe I would stop and that's what I did. Now the main priority is try to be better and better about the physical condition.

"In one week and a half we will be in Brno and my main priority is to try to arrive there. I will not be 100 per cent but I want to try to fight on the bike and enjoy my main passion that is riding the bike."

Fabio Quartararo has a golden opportunity to claim back-to-back victories after taking pole for an Andalusia Grand Prix that Marc Marquez will sit out on Sunday.

Quartararo claimed a second successive pole in Jerez despite Maverick Vinales clocking a faster lap than the MotoGP championship leader on Saturday. 

Vinales will have to settle for second place on the grid, as the Monster Energy Yamaha rider exceeded track limits on what he thought was a pole-clinching circuit.

Quartararo celebrated a maiden victory in the premier class in the season-opening Spanish Grand Prix last weekend and will have a great chance to increase his lead.

The Petronas Yamaha rider's lap of one minute, 37.007 seconds was enough for him to start ahead of Vinales, with Francesco Bagnaia third in what will be his maiden front-row spot after progressing from a Q1 that Marquez only appeared in briefly.

Marquez showed great courage to get back on his bike for FP3 and qualifying just four days after undergoing surgery on the broken arm he sustained in a crash at the same track last Sunday.

The world champion, who had a titanium plate fitted in his right arm, completed 10 laps in FP4 but soon returned to the garage after going out for Q1.

Repsol Honda later revealed that the six-time world champion will not be risked in a race that will see Valentino Rossi begin in fourth position

Miguel Oliveira sealed his best qualifying result of fifth with a blistering final lap, while Franco Morbidelli will also be on the second row after advancing from Q1.

 

PROVISIONAL CLASSIFICATION

1. Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha) 1:37.007
2. Maverick Vinales (Monster Energy Yamaha) +0.095s
3. Francesco Bagnaia (Pramac Racing) +0.169s
4. Valentino Rossi (Monster Energy Yamaha) +0.335s
5. Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Tech 3) +0.337s
6. Franco Morbidelli (Petronas Yamaha) +0.405s
7. Jack Miller (Pramac Racing) +0.416s
8. Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda) +0.457s
9. Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) +0.589s
10. Joan Mir (Team SUZUKI ECSTAR) +0.593s

Marc Marquez has been ruled out of the Andalusia Grand Prix after making a courageous attempt to take his place on the grid on home soil a week after breaking his arm.

Marquez was back on his bike in Jerez on Saturday despite suffering a fractured humerus in the first race of the MotoGP season at the same track last Sunday.

The Spaniard had a titanium plate fitted in his right arm during an operation on Tuesday, but was declared fit to get on his Repsol Honda for FP3 on Saturday.

Marquez sat out the final free practice session, and although he went out for Q1, the six-time MotoGP champion was soon back in the garage and returned to the team truck.

It was later confirmed that the 27-year-old will not start the race on Sunday and there was no word on how long he may be out of action.

Alex Marquez, the defending champion's brother, was also clutching his arm on Saturday after a crash, but avoided serious injuries.

Cal Crutchlow, who underwent surgery on his wrist this week, showed astonishing courage to finish third in Q1 behind Miguel Oliveira and Franco Morbidelli, just 0.132 seconds away from progressing to the second session.

Marc Marquez remains on course to race in the Andalusia Grand Prix after it was confirmed he will be participating in FP4 at Jerez.

Less than a week after undergoing surgery on a broken arm, the six-time MotoGP champion astonishingly took part in FP3 on Saturday after being medically cleared to ride.

Marquez fractured his right humerus following an accident late on in the season-opening Spanish Grand Prix, which was won by Fabio Quartararo.

After undergoing surgery in Barcelona, the 27-year-old returned to Jerez and - a mere six days on from suffering his injury - completed 18 laps at Circuito de Jerez-Angel Nieto.

After finishing over a second shy of Maverick Vinales' track-record time posted during the session, Repsol Honda announced the Spaniard would make a decision over whether to continue.

Around an hour later, the team confirmed he will be back on the bike again, tweeting: "We will see @marcmarquez93 back on track for FP4."

Marquez won 12 races last season on his way to winning the title by a sizeable margin, finishing 151 points clear of nearest rival Andrea Dovizioso.

Marc Marquez's bid for a remarkably swift return to MotoGP action will hinge on Saturday's FP3 at the Andalusia Grand Prix.

The six-time MotoGP champion underwent surgery on a broken arm on Tuesday but then headed to Jerez on Thursday and was quickly passed fit to ride.

Marquez was not involved in the initial practice sessions on Friday, however, with brother and Repsol Honda team-mate Alex going alone.

But the team confirmed Marquez would take to the track the following day "to assess his fitness" ahead of qualifying.

Marquez added: "I can ride, and after discussing with Honda, we decided to start directly on Saturday.

"With the team, we have set ourselves only one objective, which is to see our feelings tomorrow in FP3. Let's see how the arm is and from there we will decide our next objective."

The reigning champion was far from alone in suffering an injury at the belated season-opening Spanish GP last week, however.

Neither Cal Crutchlow nor Alex Rins managed to start the race following prior crashes at the event, but both are keen to be involved this week and took part on Friday.

Crutchlow, like Marquez, had surgery this week on a wrist problem and said: "My feeling on the bike is a little strange.

"I don't have so much pain in the wrist but, when I do have some pain, I try to ride around it as much as possible.

"The condition of me on the bike is not superb after the crash last week, but we will continue to work to make me more comfortable and feel good for the rest of the weekend.

"The surgeon and the doctors have done a good job, as well as me with keeping ice on the wrist and trying to do the best as possible to keep the inflammation down and grit my teeth and get on with it."

Rins, who fractured and dislocated his shoulder last time out, still was not entirely sure of his status despite getting back on the bike.

"Before the start of today, I was thinking, 'I'll feel pain but I can still ride well'," he said.

"After the session, I saw that this was impossible and I felt much more pain than I expected. We have to keep fighting and working and FP2 was much better than FP1.

"For FP2, I tried some analgesic to try to reduce the pain. There was less pain but not enough.

"I feel pain but I don't put risk on the tendons. We'll see after tomorrow because for sure I need to feel better on the bike."

Maverick Vinales credited a new bike set-up for him setting the fastest time in Friday's practice sessions ahead of the Andalusia Grand Prix.

After finishing second in the season-opening race in Jerez on Sunday, Vinales was the pacesetter as the teams returned to the track for the second straight weekend.

The Monster Energy Yamaha rider produced the fastest lap of the day at one minute, 37.063 seconds in FP1, while the winner of the Spanish Grand Prix Fabio Quartararo was down in 13th.

Vinales did not have as much joy following a tweak for FP2, during which LCR Honda rider Takaaki Nakagami topped the timesheets.

"I felt really good on the bike. We tried a new set-up, which is an improvement, and this is the most important thing. Lap by lap and practice by practice I'm feeling better," said Vinales.

"We need to keep working in this way, because I think that's the way to bring the bike to the top.

"This afternoon I was working on the hard and the medium tyre. We need to understand how all the tyre specs work for us, because it will be really hot on Sunday, so we need to know what we can do. But the feeling is great with any tyre.

"We also worked a lot on the front tyre, and the feeling is good – better than it was last week.

"For sure, on Sunday we will have another tyre discussion, but in any case, I feel comfortable with the bike. I think we made an improvement compared to last week."

After retiring from the Spanish Grand Prix in a disappointing start to the season, Valentino Rossi was second quickest – his best lap was 0.142secs slower than team-mate Vinales.

Rossi said: "It's a positive Friday, because we changed something in the setting of the bike, and I feel better. I feel more comfortable, I can ride in a better way, and I improved my pace.

"As always, tomorrow morning will be crucial. It will be very important to find the right spot to make the right lap time to stay in the top 10. We'll have to try.

"I feel better with the bike compared to last week. We have to work because in some corners I'm not fantastic. But anyway, it was a positive day."

Reigning MotoGP champion Marc Marquez did not take part in practice on Friday but is set to feature on Saturday, despite suffering a fractured humerus last weekend.

Marc Marquez has been declared fit to race in this weekend's Andalusia Grand Prix despite undergoing surgery on a broken arm on Tuesday.

The six-time MotoGP world champion left hospital and headed to Jerez on Thursday morning to be reunited with his Repsol Honda team, and a lunchtime medical check saw him given the go-ahead to compete.

"Fit to ride" was the team message on social media, as Marquez was pictured on the back of a scooter with his left thumb up in a pose for the camera.

It means that incredibly the Spaniard will be involved in the second race of the delayed season, having suffered his injury in last Sunday's Spanish Grand Prix, also staged at Jerez.

Marquez crashed out late on as he attempted to chase down second place, fracturing his right humerus.

The 27-year-old was taken to hospital in Barcelona, posting an Instagram picture of himself on Tuesday with a bandaged right arm, saying he was "looking forward to starting my recovery".

Marc Marquez left hospital and headed to Jerez on Thursday to be reunited with his Repsol Honda team ahead of the Andalusia Grand Prix.

Reports in Spain said Marquez, who suffered a broken arm in last Sunday's season-opening Spanish Grand Prix, could be in contention to race again this weekend.

AS said Marquez would attempt to pass medical tests ahead of what would be a breathtakingly immediate comeback after serious injury.

Repsol Honda announced in a short Twitter statement that Marquez was on his way to the Jerez circuit, which also staged the Spanish GP.

Defending MotoGP champion Marquez crashed out late in that race as he attempted to chase down second place, fracturing his right humerus.

The 27-year-old Spaniard underwent surgery on Tuesday in Barcelona, posting an Instagram picture of himself with a bandaged right arm, saying he was "looking forward to starting my recovery".

Marc Marquez's unfortunate injury at the season-opening Spanish Grand Prix presents an opportunity for his MotoGP rivals for this weekend's return to Jerez.

Defending champion Marquez crashed out late in last Sunday's first race of 2020 when he attempted to chase down second place as part of a recovery mission from an earlier error on home soil.

A huge highside saw Marquez skid across the gravel before an ugly collision with his bike left him needing medical treatment, with it later revealed he had sustained a broken humerus, which will see him miss out on the Andalusia Grand Prix.

The Repsol Honda rider underwent successful surgery in Barcelona on Tuesday and while a return date is not yet known it is reported he could be back for round three at the Czech Republic Grand Prix on August 9. 


LAST TIME OUT

An action-packed race saw Fabio Quartararo eventually benefit from Marquez's day to forget.

The Petronas Yamaha rider ended the wait for a French premier-class winner that dated back to 1999 and saw him finally turn a pole position into a victory after six unsuccessful attempts during an outstanding rookie season in 2019.

Maverick Vinales had led at one stage but ultimately settled for second, while Andrea Dovizioso was rewarded for a patient ride when he pipped Jack Miller to the podium.


WHAT TO LOOK OUT FOR IN SPAIN

Honda Racing Corporation team manager Alberto Puig stated the other contenders cannot be "really proud or happy of winning a title without the best rider in the world participating in it".

But opportunity knocks and Quartararo will be among those aiming to seize it with another triumph at Jerez this weekend.

Vinales may have had an even better finish had he not made an error to relinquish the lead to Quartararo and will fancy his chances of being involved at the top again.

Miller was involved in the scrap at the top for most of the race before being reeled in by Dovizioso and both men are sure to want to join the fight to open up an early gap over Marquez.

Do not expect to see a replacement for Marquez, whose brother Alex will be the sole Repsol Honda representative this weekend. Cal Crutchlow, who underwent surgery on a fractured wrist sustained in the warm-up at Jerez, hopes to be involved, as does Alex Rins despite a fractured and dislocated shoulder as a result of a crash in qualifying.


TOP FIVE OPTA STATS

French record for Fabio? - Quartararo became the fourth French rider to win a MotoGP race in the top category (after Regis Laconi, Christian Sarron and Pierre Monneret) and has the opportunity to become the first to record two victories.

Round-one victory a bad omen? - In the past five years, the winner of the first race of the season has failed to go on and win the MotoGP world championship; the last rider to manage that feat was Marquez in 2014.

Rossi's barren podium run - Valentino Rossi has failed to finish on the podium in his past 17 MotoGP races, his worst run in his 21 seasons in the top category; he went 16 races without a podium for Ducati between 2011 and 2012.

Pole success for Quartararo - Since he joined the MotoGP top category last year, only Marquez (10) has recorded more pole positions than the French rider (7).

Maverick's consistency - Vinales has finished on the podium in five of his past nine MotoGP appearances, although he has only recorded one victory in that time (Malaysian Grand Prix, 2019).


CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS

Riders 

1. Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha) 25 
2. Maverick Vinales (Monster Energy Yamaha) 20 
3. Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati) 16 
4. Jack Miller (Pramac Racing) 13 
5. Franco Morbidelli (Petronas Yamaha)11

Teams

1. Petronas Yamaha 36
2. Ducati 23 
3. Pramac Racing 22 
4. Monster Energy Yamaha 20 
5. Red Bull KTM 13

Marc Marquez has undergone successful surgery after suffering a broken humerus during the Spanish Grand Prix on Sunday.  

The defending MotoGP champion crashed out late in the season-opening race on home soil on Sunday and was hit by his bike after a huge highside.  

Marquez travelled to Barcelona and went under the knife at the Hospital Universitari Dexeus on Tuesday.  

The 27-year-old, winner of six MotoGP titles, will remain in hospital for up to 48 hours after having a titanium plate fitted in his right arm, his Repsol Honda team confirmed.  

Dr Xavier Mir did not touch Marquez's radial nerve during the procedure and although the Spaniard is aiming to return this season, it is too soon to know when he will be back in action.  

Meanwhile, team manager Alberto Puig also revealed LCR Honda rider Cal Crutchlow had undergone surgery on his wrist and could compete in the Andalucia Grand Prix this week. 

Puig said: "Everyone who races in the World Championship has the unfortunate possibility of getting injured and having to go to the operating room.

"Unfortunately, it was our turn and it was Marc who has had to undergo surgery. Marc will take some time to recover but we are happy with how everything has gone.

"Doctor Mir and his team have taken care of the entire situation since the fall and performed a successful operation.

"This gives the Repsol Honda Team a lot of motivation, knowing it went well, but now we have to be patient to see how Marc recovers and to understand when he can return.

"Cal Crutchlow also had an operation that went well and in principle, his intention is to test the wrist on Friday. We are optimistic about his participation in the Grand Prix."

Marc Marquez sustained a broken right humerus as a result of his crash at the Spanish Grand Prix and will undergo surgery in the coming days, Repsol Honda have confirmed.

The defending champion went careering across the gravel following a huge highside late in the MotoGP season-opener at Jerez and was clattered by his bike.

Marquez was in clear discomfort as he was attended to by marshals and was taken to the medical centre where he had an X-ray.

Repsol Honda have confirmed the extent of his injury, while announcing he will go under the knife in Barcelona hopefully on Tuesday. A timescale on his recovery is not yet known.

"A fall at Turn 3 while fighting for the podium has resulted in a broken right humerus for the reigning world champion, who will travel to Barcelona for surgery," a team statement read.

"After mounting an incredible comeback in the Spanish GP, Marc Marquez suffered a highside at Turn 3 and came down heavily on his right arm. 

"As a result, the eight-time world champion has suffered a transverse diaphyseal fracture to his right humerus. 

"MotoGP medical staff have confirmed there is no other serious head or thoracic trauma but will remain under observation for 12 hours.

"Marquez will travel to the Hospital Universitari Dexeus in Barcelona on Monday, July 20 and is aiming to be operated on by Dr Xavier Mir and his team on Tuesday, July 21.

"Recovery time is as yet unknown, the Repsol Honda Team will provide an update after the operation."

The incident marked the culmination of a luckless day for Marquez, who was chasing down second place having fought his way back through the field after an error earlier in the race while he was leading.

Fabio Quartararo was the winner of an action-packed race, which was MotoGP's first of 2020 with the season having been delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Marc Marquez was taken for an X-ray after a nasty crash at MotoGP's season-opening Spanish Grand Prix, Repsol Honda confirmed.

The defending champion lost his bike with a huge highside late in Sunday's race at Jerez, with the machine clattering dangerously into his arm as he skidded across the gravel.

Marquez was in clear discomfort as he was attended to by marshals, while television images later showed the Spaniard on a stretcher and the team said he was receiving treatment in the medical centre.

Providing an update on his condition, Repsol Honda tweeted comments from team manager Alberto Puig.

"Marc took a big hit to the upper arm, now they are checking it and doing an X-Ray," Puig said.

"He has had some pain killers for the pain."

Marquez's tumble came as he was fighting for a second-place finish having valiantly fought his way back through the field after another error earlier in the race.

Having gained the lead inside the opening laps, Marquez went too wide at Turn 4 with 23 circuits remaining and only a mightily impressive piece of skill saw him hold the bike and remain in the race.

Fabio Quartararo ultimately went on to claim a maiden MotoGP win at a race that was the series' first of 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Fabio Quartararo finally turned pole into victory as Marc Marquez was injured in the process of making a couple of uncharacteristic errors at MotoGP's delayed season opener in Jerez. 

Frenchman Quartararo was named rookie of the year in 2019 but failed to register a victory despite qualifying first on six occasions. 

But the Petronas Yamaha rider finally earned a maiden premier class triumph at the Spanish Grand Prix on Sunday, the first race of 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

It looked like being a familiar tale when Marquez passed race leader Maverick Vinales with 23 laps remaining, after the duo thrillingly jostled for position. 

However, the defending champion, racing on the brink as MotoGP fans have become accustomed to witnessing in his career, went far too wide at Turn 4 a couple of laps later and into the dirt - impressively holding the bike to continue in the race. 

The Spaniard valiantly fought back through the field and appeared on course to brilliantly finish second until losing the bike with a huge highside with four laps to go when chasing Vinales – his Repsol Honda smashing painfully into his arm. Images showed him on a stretcher later in the race. 

Quartararo himself had made an inauspicious start, slipping from first to fifth in the opening laps as Vinales took ownership of top spot. 

Vinales had already made an error shortly prior to locking up at Turn 13 with 17 laps to go, though, and he ultimately had to settle for winning the battle for second. 

Jack Miller of Pramac Racing had held a podium spot for much of the race but eventually slipped behind Andrea Dovizioso, who only underwent surgery on a broken collarbone last month. 

Valentino Rossi was among the retirees along with Joan Mir, whose team-mate Alex Rins did not race after sustaining a serious shoulder injury on Saturday. Cal Crutchlow was also inactive following a bad crash in Sunday's warm up that left him with a concussion.

The 2020 MotoGP season will finally get underway with the Spanish Grand Prix on Sunday and the race looks set to be a thriller.

The coronavirus pandemic wreaked havoc with the MotoGP campaign, which had initially been scheduled to begin in Qatar in March.

However, Saturday's qualifying session at the Circuito de Jerez – where the first two races of the delayed and truncated campaign will take place – provided a mouth-watering front row for the main event.

Reigning champion Marc Marquez will be part of the trio to lead the rest of the riders away, but he looks sure to face a significant battle for the win as he begins his quest for a fifth straight title.
 

WHAT HAPPENED IN QUALIFYING

Petronas Yamaha's Fabio Quartararo, who is riding a factory-spec bike this season, produced an all-time lap record of one minute, 36.705 seconds to take pole position

Marquez had provisional pole with two minutes of Q2 remaining but was quickly displaced by Maverick Vinales, who in turn was pipped by his future team-mate Quartararo at the death.

Repsol Honda rider Marquez lost valuable time in the final sector of his last lap and failed to go quicker than Vinales, while Pramac Racing duo Francesco Bagnaia and Jack Miller claimed fourth and fifth to outshine the Ducati works riders.

THE STARTING GRID

1. Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha) 2. Maverick Vinales (Monster Energy Yamaha) 3. Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda)
4. Francesco Bagnaia (Pramac Racing) 5. Jack Miller (Pramac Racing) 6. Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda)
7. Pol Espargaro (Red Bull KTM) 8. Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati) 9. Franco Morbidelli (Petronas Yamaha)
10. Valentino Rossi (Monster Energy Yamaha) 11. Joan Mir (Suzui Ecstar)  12. Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM) 
13. Danilo Petrucci (Ducati) 14. Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda) 15. Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia) 
16. Miguel Oliveira (Tech 3 KTM)17. Bradley Smith (Aprilia) 18. Tito Rabat (Reale Avintia Racing) 
19. Johann Zarco (Reale Avintia Racing) 20. Alex Marquez (Repsol Honda)  21. Iker Lecuona (Tech 3 KTM)
 

SPANISH GRAND PRIX TALKING POINTS

Quartararo started last year's race in Jerez on pole position too, but a gearbox issue forced him to retire after 13 laps. The 21-year-old was named 2019 Rookie of the Year after getting seven podiums – five of which were on the second step – and will be desperate to improve and claim a first win in the premier class.

It was an eventful day for Alex Rins. The Suzuki Ecstar rider was involved in an on-track confrontation with Marquez in FP3, for which the champion avoided any punishment, and, after getting out of Q1, crashed at turn 11 in the Q2. He qualified ninth but hobbled away from the scene holding his arm and was transferred to hospital after it was confirmed he had sustained a fracture and dislocation to his right shoulder, ruling him out of the race.

Ducati were left with plenty to ponder after Andrea Dovizioso crashed during his final lap in qualifying. Miller, who will race for the factory team next year, also slid out.

Miller's future team-mate is not yet known, and Dovizioso will be keen to impress with three-time MotoGP champion Jorge Lorenzo this weekend expressing an interest in re-joining the team, a seat also of interest to Cal Crutchlow, who starts sixth.

WHAT THE RIDERS SAID

Marc Marquez (3rd): "On the last lap I gave up, because the season has just started and many races are coming in a row. You have to understand where the limit is, and I felt I already did a good lap. It was quite difficult to improve, and the main target of the front row was there. This was the most important for me, for the reason I gave up. The job was done. The Yamaha riders for some reason with the new tyre are able to use a lot of grip and they are very fast in qualifying and practice."

Fabio Quartararo (pole): "Looking at [Marquez's] pace I think he can also use it [the new rear tyre] also really well. When you saw his FP4, he's running three tenths faster than us in every lap, so I think he's playing a little bit. We know Marc is so fast in every condition. It's difficult to fight with him but we will make our best."

Maverick Vinales (2nd): "I think we were good in the last sector on every lap, but we still need to improve the bike a little bit – we are not at the maximum, I think. But day by day I'm getting more confident, I felt better on the bike. I think Sunday's going to be a good day, because we have rhythm and I have strong pace and I felt the bike is working good with the tyres. I think we are ready."

Andrea Dovizioso (8th): "We have a good race pace, but at the moment I am still not fully satisfied with my feeling with the bike. We are working on it and hope to be able to improve it in time for Sunday. It will be important to stay at the front immediately, and I am sure we have the potential to do a good race."

Valentino Rossi (11th, starting 10th after Rins' withdrawal): "We improved a lot compared to Friday, but we need more. We'll keep working to try to make another step, but now the top three guys are very strong and in Yamaha's case, Maverick and Fabio are riding very fast."

Alex Marquez (21st, starting 20th): "Unfortunately, I am struggling more in the hot conditions than I was expecting but in the morning we were fast. Everything is so close in MotoGP. Every day I am on the bike I want to improve and learn new things; Sunday will be a good opportunity to do this. The goal is to finish the race but still to push as hard as possible."

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