Marc Marquez will start Sunday's San Marino MotoGP from fifth on the grid after an action-packed end to qualifying at Misano.

The reigning champion and 2018 title leader suffered a fast fall at the final corner during his second of three runs (pictured), but sprung to his feet and was sprinting for a lift back to the paddock as his bike came to a rest!

Situated on the wrong side of the track, Marquez's swift return was aided by a marshal on a scooter, who dropped the Spaniard off at the back of the Repsol Honda pits.

Marquez then ran straight through the garage, jumped on a waiting second bike and was riding down pitlane just 2m 15s after the accident!

Famous for pulling his RCV back from seemingly certain falls, Marquez admitted he was caught out on this occasion, with his main priority being to protect his previously dislocated shoulders.

"I lost the front early, where I didn't expect it, because I leaned the bike too aggressively and then I was not ready [to save it] with the elbow," Marquez revealed.

"Of course I tried to save it, but when I saw the gravel, the wall, approaching, I checked a bit and then just put my arms on my shoulders, which are very important to protect. My other saves were crashes that normally you can control, but this was a big crash and it's important to be fit."

Marquez admitted he was surprised at how quickly he was able to get back on track, joking it was faster than a normal in-lap and enabled him to get in two more flying laps before the end of the 15-minute Q2 session.

"It was so quick. Even the guy with the scooter was pushing a lot, it was scary sometimes that we would crash, but he did a great job!" smiled Marquez.

"It surprised me [how quick] because when I took the second bike I thought, 'okay, there will be time to do one lap'. But I was able to do two laps. It [getting back to the pits] was even faster than a normal in-lap with the bike!"

However, in his haste to get back out, Marquez hadn’t noticed some grit in his eye.

"It's not an excuse, but when I crashed the visor opened and I was so quick to get the second bike that I didn't notice I had a small stone in my eye," he said. "And then I was riding like this and it was so difficult to be precise and concentrate.

"Afterwards they got the stone with some paper and water. But it was like this; I was too quick and I didn't realise! I felt something [in my eye] but I said, 'I want the bike, I want the bike!'"

While the point at which he fell was a surprise, Marquez said the fact he had an accident wasn't a shock and had been at the back of his mind when he decided on a two-stop strategy.

"Luckily both bikes were ready. It was a strategy to use three tyres, but also a strategy in case [of a fall]. I already felt like, 'hmmm, maybe in qualifying we will see what happens…'. Because you already know when you have a big chance to crash and this time I knew it was a risk."

Failing to improve on his earlier lap time after returning to the track, Marquez dropped from the front row to the middle of the second row and will now start behind the Ducatis of Jorge Lorenzo (pole), Jack Miller (2nd) and Andrea Dovizioso (4th), plus the Yamaha of Maverick Vinales (3rd).

"Ducati is very strong here, especially they have very good stability on the brake point, in turning they don't lose like before, they are turning good, and then the acceleration… But it's also true that when the tyre is new, the difference is bigger," Marquez said.

"When the tyre is used the difference will reduce because they cannot use all their torque. For that reason tomorrow we need to check during the race if we are able to follow them. because I feel prepared to follow them.

"I had a few problems in qualifying, but I prefer to keep in my mind the feeling I had in FP4 which was good, I was riding well with used tyres and we managed well the tyre life. This is the most important and tomorrow we will try to be competitive from the beginning because with the race rhythm we are not far behind."

Marquez currently has a 59-point title lead over local star Valentino Rossi, who qualifying in seventh.