MotoGP: Fabio Quartararo storms to his maiden MotoGP victory at Jerez

Fabio Quartararo wins his first-ever MotoGP race at Jerez
Fabio Quartararo wins his first-ever MotoGP race at Jerez
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Fabio Quartararo is a MotoGP race winner after a dominating performance at Jerez. 

The 21-year-old took full advantage after Marc Marquez went off the circuit in the early stages, making another one of his phenomenal saves. Quartararo got the better of Maverick Vinales on lap nine was untouchable from that moment onwards. 

Quartararo becomes the first French rider to win a MotoGP race since Regis Leconi at Valencia in 1999. It's also the Petronas Yamaha's first victory, which comes in only their second campaign. 

Vinales battled through to second after struggling throughout with his soft front tyre, whilst Andrea Dovizioso completed the podium in third. Just two weeks ago, Dovizioso was undergoing collarbone surgery. 

Marquez had battled back through the field from 16th after his incident in the opening stages. However, the reigning champion pushed too hard trying to take second spot from Vinales and suffered a massive highside at turn four. Marquez was in a lot of pain afterwards and was taken away in an ambulance moments later. The Spaniard was seen holding his right arm and was in a neck brace. 

Jack Miller ended the race in fourth after holding a podium spot for a large majority of the race. Franco Morbidelli was fifth, with Pol Espargaro right behind him on the KTM. Morbidelli was lucky to stay on his bike after hitting Miller with a few laps remaining. 

Francesco Bagnaia was struggling for grip in the latter stages but was able to hold on to seventh spot. Miguel Oliveira secured a brilliant eighth for Tech3 KTM, with Danilo Petrucci fighting through the pain in ninth. Takaaki Nakagami completes the top 10 for LCR Honda.

Johann Zarco had a quiet race in 11th, whilst Alex Marquez improved vastly on his Saturday performance in 12th. Brad Binder fought back through to 13th after a mistake early on and set the fastest lap of the race on the final lap.

Alongside Marc Marquez, Joan Mir and Aleix Espargaro also crashed out of the race. Valentino Rossi pulled up at the side of the track on lap 19, whilst Iker Lecouna also retired with a bike problem. 

Both Alex Rins and Cal Crutchlow were ruled out of the race on medical grounds. Rins hurt his shoulder in qualifying, whilst Crutchlow crashed heavily in the morning warm up. 


Moto2: Luca Marini takes dominating victory at Jerez

First published: 19 July 2020 by Josh Close

Luca Marini wins Moto2 at Jerez

Luca Marini bounced back from the disappointment of Qatar to take a controlling victory in the Moto2 race at Jerez. 

Marini took the lead of the race on lap four and was left mainly unchallenged for the remainder of the race. The Italian managed his tyres perfectly to take his fourth career victory, and his 10th podium overall. 

Tetsuta Nagashima continued his excellent form in 2020 in second. The Japanese rider, winner in Qatar, tried his best to catch Marini but was unable to get with striking distance. Nagashima had a couple of close moments and decided to take the safer option with four laps to go. 

Jorge Martin took the final step of the podium after keeping Sam Lowes at bay in the second half of the race. Like Marini at the front, Martin was able to keep a manageable distance to the rider behind him. 

Lowes will be delighted with fourth spot after missing the opening race of the year through injury. 

Aron Canet impressed yet again in his debut Moto2 campaign in fifth, ahead of Hafizh Syahrin in sixth and Remy Gardner in seventh. Lorenzo Baldassarri was unable to repeat his podium heroics from round one, instead having to settle for eighth. Enea Bastianini was ninth, with Xavi Vierge completing the top 10 for the Petronas Sprinta Racing team.

Jake Dixon ended the race 18th after being given a double long lap penalty for jumping the start. 

Jorge Navarro's race ended at the very first corner after being nudged by Marco Bezzechi. Marcos Ramirez and Somkiat Chantra came together at turn six, with both riders retiring from the race on the sixth lap. 

Bezzecchi also crashed out the race after losing control at turn 10. The Sky Racing Team VR46 rider was in some discomfort afterwards, having already being in some pain from a fractured ankle. 

The Liqui Moly Intact GP team had a day to forget with both Marcel Schrotter and Thomas Luthi crashing out of the race. 

After two rounds of the Moto2 season, Nagashima has a 17-point advantage over Baldassarri in the standings. Marini moves up into third, 20 points behind the championship leader. 


Moto3: Albert Arenas secures his second victory of 2020 at Jerez

First published: 19 July 2020 by Josh Close

Albert Arenas wins the Moto3 race at Jerez

Albert Arenas kept his 100% record in Moto3 this year by taking victory in a chaotic race at Jerez.

Arenas was involved in the leading battle for the majority of the race, swapping positions with Tony Arbolino, John McPhee are several others during the race. The Gaviota Aspar Team rider hit the front at the final corner and avoided the chaos behind him.

McPhee went into the final corner too deep and was left on the outside coming onto the start/finish straight. Celestino Vietti nudged Arbolino, who then hit a helpless McPhee on the outside of the track. The Scot fell as a result. 

Ai Agura secured his second podium of the year after crossing the line in second, with Arbolino taking the final podium spot. 

Andrea Migno was fourth on the Sky Racing Team VR46 machine, just ahead of his teammate, Vietti. Vietti had led several laps during the middle stages of the race. Raul Fernandez recovered from a handful of little mistakes to finish in sixth. 

Gabriel Rodrigo was seventh, ahead of polesitter Tatsuki Suzuki and Niccolo Antonelli. Jaume Masia completed the top 10 for the Leopard Racing team. 

Sergio Garcia, Alonso Lopez and Jeremy Alcoba were all handed long lap penalties for exceeding track limits. Darryn Binder and Vietti were also warned about exceeding the limits. 

Binder was challenging for the victory when he fell at turn nine on the penultimate lap. Deniz Oncu, Kaito Toba and Riccardo Rossi also crashed out the race, whilst Dennis Foggia and Carlos Tatay hit fell at the start of the race. Filip Salac also fell at turn two but was able to re-join the race.

After two rounds of the 2020 Moto3 season Arenas has a 14-point advantage over Ogura in the championship standings. Despite his crash today, McPhee is still third in the standings, albeit 30 points behind Arenas.


Moto2: Jorge Martin secures his maiden pole at Jerez

First published: 18 July 2020 by Josh Close

Jorge Martin takes the Moto2 pole at Jerez

Jorge Martin claimed his first pole position in the Moto2 class after dominating at Jerez.

The 2018 Moto3 world champion posted the fastest time on only his second flying lap, setting a time of 1:47.384. This was enough to beat Jorge Navarro by +0.181s. 

The story of Saturday

Sam Lowes completes the first row on his return from injury. The EG 0,0 Marc VDS rider has ground to make up after missing the opening race of the year in Qatar and the Brit has made a positive start to the weekend. 

The Sky Racing Team VR46 duo of Luca Marini and Marco Bezzecchi are fourth and fifth after working together once again on the circuit. Aron Canet completes the second row on the Inde Aspar bike. 

Marcel Schrötter was unable to match his blistering pace from FP3 and was forced to settle for seventh. He's joined by championship leader Tetsuta Nagashima and Xavi Vierge on row three. Lorenzo Baldassarri, winner at Jerez in 2018 and 2019, completes the top 10.

Jake Dixon starts tomorrow's race from 17th after automatically qualifying for Q2 in FP3 this morning. 

Moto2 Jerez Qualifying Times


MotoGP: Fabio Quartararo breaks his own lap record to take pole at Jerez

First published: 18 July 2020 by Josh Close

Fabio Quartararo takes Jerez MotoGP pole

Fabio Quartararo picked up where he left off last year by breaking his own circuit record at Jerez and taking pole position in the opening round of the 2020 MotoGP season.

The Petronas Yamaha rider went toe to toe with Marc Marquez yet again, with Maverick Vinales also challenging on the factory Yamaha. 

Quartararo was the first rider to dip into the 1:36s, posting a time of 1:36.993 on the final lap of his first run. Marquez returned the favour in the second part of Q2, edging to the top of the timesheets with a 1:36.877.

Vinales swiftly took top spot away from the reigning champion with a 1:36.844. Marquez looked to respond immediately but lost time in the final sector. Then, in the dying seconds of a chaotic qualifying session, Quartararo reappeared with a new all-time circuit record of 1:36.705. 

Vinales remains in second spot, with Marquez having to settle for the third and final spot of the front row. 

Francesco Bagnaia secured his best-ever grid position in the premier class by putting his Pramac Ducati fourth on the grid. At one stage it looked like the Italian was going to be on pole, only to lose time towards the end of the lap. 

It was a dramatic end to the session with Jack Miller, who qualified fifth alongside his teammate, crashing out at turn 11. Within a few seconds Alex Rins also fell at the same corner, narrowly missing the Australian. Unfortunately, Suzuki have since revealed that Rins, who had qualified ninth, has been taken to hospital with a suspected fracture and dislocation of his right shoulder.

Cal Crutchlow completes the second row on his LCR Honda, with Pol Espargaro in seventh after yet another positive display on the factory KTM. Espargaro was agonisingly close to making it directly into Q2 this morning, but instead had to do it the hard way through Q1. 

Andrea Dovizioso, who also crashed out of the session, starts eighth, with Franco Morbidelli completing the top 10. Valentino Rossi salvaged 11th spot after yet another tough day in the Spanish heat, whilst Joan Mir will be disappointed with 12th. 

Further down the order, Brad Binder shone once more on the second factory KTM machine. The South African narrowly missed out on a spot in Q2 and will start his first-ever MotoGP race from 13th on the grid. 

Danilo Petrucci (14th), Aleix Espargaro (16th) and Johann Zarco (20th) have some work to do in tomorrow's race if they're to finish with a good amount of points. Rookies Alex Marquez and Iker Lecouna start at the back of the grid. 

Motogp Jerez Qualifying Times


Moto3: Tatsuki Suzuki takes comfortable pole position at Jerez

First published: 18 July 2020 by Josh Close

Tatsuki Suzuki claims pole at Jerez in Moto2

Tatsuki Suzuki secured his second consecutive Moto3 pole position in 2020 after dominating at Jerez.

The SIC58 Squadra Corse rider set an early benchmark of 1:45.779, before moving +0.000 clear of his rivals with a lap-time of 1:45.465 on his second run. 

He's joined on the first row by Andrea Migno and John McPhee, with the latter putting in an impressive, clever performance. McPhee slotted in behind Suzuki whilst the Japanese rider was putting in his pole position lap and was momuntarily in second spot. 

Raul Fernandez leads the second row and will line-up alongside Celestino Vietti and Jeremy Alcoba. Albert Arenas, winner in Qatar, qualifed seventh, with Romano Fenati, Gabriel Rodrigo and Tony Arbolino completing the top 10. Fenati and Arbolino were both forced to go through Q1.

Sergio Garcia will start tomorrow's race from the final spot on the grid after having laps cancelled for exeeding track limits. 

Moto3 Jerez - Qualifying Times


MotoGP: Franco Morbidelli tops FP2 but Marc Marquez ends Friday quickest overall

First published: 17 July 2020 by Josh Close

Franco Morbidelli Jerez FP2

Franco Morbidelli and the Petronas Yamaha team showcased their potential in the heat of Jerez this afternoon, but it was Marc Marquez who ends Friday quickest overall. 

With the track temperature reaching around 56 degrees in the afternoon practice session, only Fabio Quartararo was able to improve on the time he set in FP1. However, the Frenchman had missed the opening 20 minutes of the morning session after breaching MotoGP testing rules. 

The story so far

In the scorching heat it was Morbidelli and Quartararo who finished first and second, with only +0.027 separating the duo. Whilst their Yamaha machines look strong in the high temperatures, both riders still have work to do tomorrow morning in order to make it into Q2. Morbidelli ends the day 12th overall, whilst Quartararo is only 15th after his delayed start to the day.

Overall, it's Marquez who tops the timesheets. The reigning champion looks dangerous once again at one of his favourite tracks, however he did have a small crash in FP2 after losing the front. Alex Marquez suffered a similar fate on the second Repsol Honda, on his way to finishing 17th in the combined results.

Maverick Vinales ends the opening day in second spot ahead of Cal Crutchlow on the LCR Honda. In the hotter afternoon session Vinales was seventh, one place behind Crutchlow. 

Andrea Dovizioso ended the day fourth overall after a strong performance in the morning session. Joan Mir is the quickest Suzuki in fifth, ahead of Jack Miller in sixth and teammate Alex Rins in seventh. 

The final three positions inside the top 10 are taken by KTM riders, with the Austrian manufacturer having a strong first day. Pol Espargaro leads the trio in eighth, with Iker Lecuona on the Tech3 bike and Brad Binder completing the top 10. Both rookies had a day to remember, with Binder ending FP3 in third. 

Johann Zarco is 11th on the Avintia Racing bike and was the quickest Ducati rider in FP2, ending that session in eighth spot.

Riders who have a fight on their hands to automatically qualify for Q2 include Valentino Rossi in 13th and Aleix Espargaro in 16th spot. Rossi is struggling for rear tyre grip due to the high temperatures at Jerez. 

 MotoGP Jerez - Combined Free Practice Times


Moto2: Luca Marini dominates day one at Jerez

First published: 17 July 2020 by Josh Close

Luca Marini leads the way in Moto2

Luca Marini got his weekend off to a flying start in Moto2 by topping both of Friday's free practice sessions. 

The Sky Racing Team VR46 rider went quickest in the morning with a lap-time of 1:41.410, pipping Jorge Navarro's Speed Up machine by +0.048.

Whilst none of the riders were able to improve on their times in the afternoon, due to the scorching heat, Marini once again hit the top of the timesheets. On this occasion, Marini's best time of 1:42.228 was +0.128 quicker than teammate Marco Bezzecchi. The second Team VR46 rider finished third overall in the standings. 

Tetsuta Nagashima, winner of round one in Qatar, ends the day fourth overall after another impressive performance on the Red Bull KTM Ajo bike. Marcel Schrotter completes the top five, with Britain's Sam Lowes in sixth spot. 

Jorge Martin was seventh overall on the second Red Bull KTM Ajo machine, with Fabio Di Giannantonio, Joe Roberts and Hafizh Syahrin completing the top 10. Thomas Luthi was 11th after a rough day. The Liqui Moly Intact GP rider visited the medical centre after a crash in FP1. 

Lorenzo Baldassarri (12th), Enea Bastianini (13th), and Remy Gardner (18th) have some work to do in tomorrow's FP3 session. Meanwhile, Jake Dixon finished the opening day down in 23rd. The Brit finished in that position in both practice sessions and will be hoping for some improvements tomorrow. 

Moto2 Jerez Free Practice Times - Friday Combined


Moto3: Gabriel Rodrigo ends Friday on top after topping both practice sessions

First published: 17 July 2020 by Josh Close

Gabriel Rodrigo topped both Moto3 practice sessions

Gabriel Rodrigo ended the opening day of Moto3 action at Jerez on top after topping both sessions. 

With the heat in Jerez increasing this afternoon it was impossible for the riders towards the front after the morning session to improve on their lap-times.

However, Rodrigo ended both sessions on top with his top time being 1:45.633. The Kömmerling Gresini rider was the only rider to drop into the 1:45s and was the first rider into the 1:46s in FP2.

Raul Fernandez ends the opening day second overall, with John McPhee rounding out the top three for the Petronas Sprinta Racing team.

Andrea Migno was fourth overall and posted the third quickest time in FP2. He was one of only three riders to dip into the 1:46s this afternoon. Jeremy Alcoba was fifth overall, ahead of Celestino Vietti (sixth) and Kaito Toba in seventh. Albert Arenas, Jaume Masia and Tony Arbolino complete the top 10. 

Tatsuki Suzuki ended the day 13th overall but had an impressive FP2 session by being one of the three riders to dip into the 1:46s. Suzuki finished the afternoon session in second. 

Moto3 actions resumes tomorrow morning with FP3. That session is due to begin at 8am (UK time).

Combined Moto3 Jerez Free Practice Times

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Josh Close

By Josh Close

Sports Reporter and fan of all things motorsport.