Quartararo wins as Marquez crashes hard

Maverick Vinales used Yamaha’s new Holeshot device to take the lead from second on the grid and attempted to build an immediate lead using the extra grip of the soft front tire he and teammate Valentino Rossi bet on.

But Marquez went with the Yamaha rider and put up a fight on lap three, fighting his way inside at Turn 5 but running too wide.

Marquez used the Honda’s power to pull close to Vinales on the run into the Pedrosa corner and took the lead.

Marquez showed a devastating race rhythm in FP4 and was already beginning to settle into a rhythm Vinales couldn’t match when he lost the front of the Honda at Turn 4.

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

However, Vinales’ hopes of victory faded along with his soft front tire when he started struggling, allowing Quartararo and Jack Miller on the Pramac Ducati to catch up directly.

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

The Petronas Yamaha rider immediately used the M1’s cornering ability to pull away from the chasing pack, his lead was six seconds at one point before fading on the final laps.

Marquez’s charge through the field was relentless and with five laps to go the World Champion had edged Miller into third place with a steady eye on the battered Vinales.

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

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

Quartararo made no mistake in the final laps to claim his maiden win early in his second season to end a drought for France in MotoGP dating back to Regis Laconi’s win at Valencia in 1999.

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

Vinales stayed behind the checkered flag in second place while Andrea Dovizioso pushed his factory team Ducati into third place after a late attack on Miller.

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

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

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

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

MotoGP Spanish Grand Prix Full Results: