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Brad Binder 11th in Spanish MotoGP qualifying as Marc Marquez crashes

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Six-time world champion Marc Marquez qualified 14th on Saturday for the Spanish MotoGP after a spectacular crash in morning practice at Jerez while Fabio Quartararo claimed pole position.

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Marquez fell heavily in the third practice session at the circuit where last year he broke his right arm in the opening race to end his 2020 campaign.

After a medical examination his Honda team tweeted that the 28-year-old Spaniard would race on.

“After his check, marcmarquez93 has been declared FIT for the remainder of the SpanishGP,” his Honda team tweeted.

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Marquez had to go into the first qualifying session and was only fourth fastest, missing a chance to advance to the 10-man second session and battle for a place at the front of the grid.

Championship leader Quartararo dominated the times all weekend on his factory Yamaha but was pushed hard in final qualifying by Yamaha satellite rider Franco Morbidelli and Jack Miller on a Ducati. 

The Frenchman recorded his fastest time just as the checkered flag fell to end the session.

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“Feels really good,” said Quartararo.

“It was one of the qualifying that I was more on the limit. I thought I was going to crash.”

Marc Marquez made his comeback after nine months out and multiple bouts of surgery at the Portuguese MotoGP last month.

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He admitted to a “lack of strength” after he struggled in Friday practice at Jerez.

In Saturday’s opening session he lost control of his bike at 180km at turn seven, sliding across gravel on his left arm and into a barrier.

Clearly shaken he managed to walk away, returning to the pits on a scooter.

MotoGP doctor Angel Charte said he ordered Marquez to undergo a scan as “a check-up”.

“He has a huge contusion to the neck and top of the back,” Charte said.

Starting grid for Sunday’s Spanish MotoGP, the fourth round of the 2021 world championship, after qualifying in Jerez on Saturday:

Front row

1. Fabio Quartararo (FRA/Yamaha) 1:36.755, 2.  Franco Morbidelli (ITA/Yamaha-SRT) 1:36.812, 3. Jack Miller (AUS/Ducati) 1:36.860,

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2nd row

4. Francesco Bagnaia (ITA/Ducati) 1:36.960, 5. Takaaki Nakagami (JPN/LCR Honda) 1.37.008, 6. Johann Zarco (FRA/Ducati-Pramac) 1.37.054,

3rd row

7. Maverick Vinales (ESP/Yamaha) 1:37.070, 8. Aleix Espargaro (ESP/Aprilia) 1:37.085, 9. Alex Rins (ESP/Suzuki) 1:37.124

4th row

10. Joan Mir (ESP/Suzuki) 1:37.154, 11. Brad Binder (RSA/KTM), 1:37.467, 12.  Stefan Bradl (GER-Honda) 1.37.502 

Selected:

14. Marc Marquez (ESP/Honda) 1:37.489,  17. Valentino Rossi (ITA/Yamaha-SRT) 1:37.915

Moto2

Front row

1. Remy Gardner (AUS/Kalex) 1:40.667, 2. Fabio Di Giannantonio (Kalex) 1.40.738. 3. Marco Bezzecchi (ITA/Kalex) 1:40.753,

2nd row

4. Raul Fernandez (ESP/Kalex) 1:40.807, 5. Sam Lowes (GBR/Kalex) 1:40.833, 6.Xavi Vierge (ESP/Kalex) 1:41.038

Moto3

Front row

1. Tatsuki Suzuki (JPN/Honda) 1:45.807, 2.  Jeremy Alcoba (ESP/Honda) 1:45.932, 3.  Andrea Migno (ITA/Honda) 1:46.007

2nd Row 

4. Gabriel Rodrigo (ARG/Honda) 1.46.048,  5.  Romano Fenati (ITA/Husqvarna) 1:46.16 , 6. John McPhee (GBR/Honda) 1.46.185 

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