Nightmare start to season for Reigning Champion!
The first MotoGP race of the 2020 season began nightmarishly at the Jerez de la Frontera Circuit for Reigning Champion Marc Marquez as he fell off his bike and broke his foot. Aiming to defend his title, Marquez got off to a fast start in the reduced 20-rider grid of the shorten season against the likes of Maverick Vinales, Fabio Quartararo, Andrea Dovizioso and Jack Miller.
The Repsol Honda ace sprinted to the head of the field in second at the start of the race. Vinales who started second shot to first place on the first lap. The battle between Vinales and Marquez was the highlight in the early stint. Vinales and Marquez would go back and forth until the Yamaha ace got the better of things for the lead. It wasn’t until lap 5, Marquez almost lost the bike but recovered to continue. He would drop back to 20th place before mounting a comeback. This gave Vinales and the riders behind him a clear path.
With Marquez dropped back, Vinales had a clear path in front of him. Only Quartararo and Miller gave chase. On lap 8, Quartararo took the lead after Vinales had a wobble. The Yamaha ace would run wide again to allow Miller through as well in ensuing laps. He was down to third place by the middle part of the race. The Spaniard mounted a comeback and with seven laps remaining, VInales took the runner up spot from Miller. Meanwhile, Marquez had powered his way back to contention right behind Vinales in third, with five laps to run. However, Marquez would lose his bike on a high side at turn 3 and crashed out of the race. He suffered a broken right humerus.
Ducati’s Andrea Dovizioso captured third place, having started third on the grid. The Italian defended from Franco Morbidelli’s and Pol Espargaro’s attacks throughout the race. The Ducati man managed to fill in the gap on Miller and, with two laps to go, he went past Miller for third. Team mate Danilo Petrucci, still recovering from minor injury, finished ninth to give Ducati some added points in the manufacturers’ rankings.
Marquez’s team mate Alex Marquez, who made his MotoGP debut, finished 12th. 9-time champion Valentino Rossi did not finish the race as his bike had technical issues.
It was a good day for Quartararo who won the race and started the race in P1 ahead of factory riders. With Quartararo and Morbidelli first and fifth, Yamaha SRT team is at the top of the teams’ standings. Ducati occupies the second position in the manufacturers and second in the teams after the first race.
Round Three of the 2020 season hits Gran Premio de Andalucía, 24 – 25 July.