MotoGP 2020 started with a bang, albeit for two very contrasting reasons. On one side, it marked Fabio Quartararo's first MotoGP victory, but on the other hand, it ended up with a nasty crash for the reigning world champion, Marc Marquez, which may result in some serious repercussions.
If we had to sum up the delayed season-opening round of MotoGP 2020, this is what we’d say – MotoGP never disappoints! The first round of the 2020 season turned out to be an absolute cracker of a race. Mainly, because of two reasons – Fabio Quartararo took his maiden MotoGP win, and Marc Marquez showed signs of brilliance yet again as he made one of the greatest comebacks in MotoGP. However, unfortunately for Marquez, it didn’t end well as in the closing stages of the race, he had a massive high side. Factory Yamaha’s Maverick Vinales finished the race in second, followed by factory Ducati’s Andrea Dovizioso in third.
Quartararo started the race from pole position, ahead of Vinales and Marquez. However, as soon as the lights went out, he dropped back as Vinales took the lead, with Marquez following him in second. Jack Miller of Pramac Ducati also managed to overtake Quartararo, meaning the pole man was now fourth.
Within a couple of laps, Marquez got the better of Vinales and passed him to lead the race. Given his lap times from FP4, it was known that Marquez’s race pace would be incredible – and that’s how it turned out to be. However, not for long. After a couple of laps, Marquez lost the front end of his Honda and ended up in the gravel trap. He managed to stay upright and joined back in 16th position. However, that wasn’t the highlight – in fact, it was yet another spectacular Marquez save that took the limelight once again. Like we have seen multiple times in the past, Marquez lost the front but didn’t crash. Instead, he picked the bike up on his elbows and saved it! Of course, he lost time and places, but that save was simply otherworldly!
In the next couple of laps, Quartararo upped his pace and managed to take his spot back from Miller and a struggling Vinales. Quartararo then began to pull away from them and steadily started to build up the gap. The 21-year-old French rider would go on to take his first career win in MotoGP, making him the 8th youngest rider to do so.
But the real action was happening far behind the front runners. After being dropped to 16th, Marquez was now hammering the fastest lap times of the race. And what followed was a pure spectacle!
With his fierce pace, Marquez sliced through the field like a hot knife through butter. His speed was borderline ridiculous, and the way he was recovering back, well, you could say it was one of the best comebacks in MotoGP, if not the best. With just three laps to go, Marquez was back in the third position, and right on the tail of Vinales! It was a spectacular showcase of determination and raw speed – if you ever need proof that Marquez is one of the greatest motorcycle racers in the world, just watch the highlights of this race!
However, in just a moment, it all ended – and it was a very nasty affair! Marquez suffered a spectacular, brutal high-side while he was chasing Vinales – around the same corner (Turn 3) where he made the save earlier in the race. But this time, there was no saving it. He fell on the ground hard and was then hit even harder by his sliding Honda RCV. It was a horrible crash – which became quite clear after his medical reports came out after the race. Marquez has suffered a fracture in his upper right arm (humerus) and will be undergoing surgery in the next 12 hours. Recovery time is still unknown, but given the seriousness of the injury, he may have to miss a couple of races. And that would seriously dent his chances of defending the title, we’re afraid.
With Marquez crashing out – and possibly missing the next round at least – the season is now wide open for the Yamaha boys as well as for Ducati. The season has already been shortened to just 13 rounds because of COVID-19, which means consistency will be the key. At the moment, Yamaha riders – Quartararo and Vinales – are looking the strongest, but with two races in Austria, Ducati and Dovizioso are expected to be back in the business.
Here's the full race result of the race,
|1||Fabio Quartararo||Petronas Yamaha||41m 23.796s|
|2||Maverick Viñales||Monster Yamaha||41m 28.399s|
|3||Andrea Dovizioso||Ducati||41m 29.742s|
|4||Jack Miller||Pramac Ducati||41m 30.464s|
|5||Franco Morbidelli||Petronas Yamaha||41m 30.64s|
|6||Pol Espargaro||Red Bull KTM||41m 30.734s|
|7||Francesco Bagnaia||Pramac Ducati||41m 36.823s|
|8||Miguel Oliveira||Red Bull KTM Tech3||41m 37.237s|
|9||Danilo Petrucci||Ducati||41m 43.447s|
|10||Takaaki Nakagami||LCR Honda||41m 45.349s|
|11||Johann Zarco||Reale Avintia||41m 48.896s|
|12||Alex Marquez||Repsol Honda||41m 51.146s|
|13||Brad Binder||Red Bull KTM||41m 53.436s|
|14||Tito Rabat||Reale Avintia||41m 56.694s|
|15||Bradley Smith||Aprilia||42m 3.478s|
|Marc Marquez||Repsol Honda||DNF|
|Iker Lecuona||Red Bull KTM Tech3||DNF|
|Valentino Rossi||Monster Yamaha||DNF|
|Aleix Espargaro||Aprilia Gresini||DNF|
|Joan Mir||Suzuki Ecstar||DNF|
The next race will take place in a week's time at Jerez, and will be broadcasted live on the Eurosport channel in India.