Nobody knows reigning MotoGP champion Marc Marquez better than his younger brother Alex, the pair spending much of their lives together away from the track as well as being team-mates at Repsol Honda.

But even Alex was stunned by Marc's performance in Sunday's Spanish Grand Prix season-opener, despite the disastrous end.

Marc had taken the lead from Maverick Vinales on lap 3 and was pushing hard to escape when he suffered a massive front-end slide through the Turn Four left-hander.

The Spaniard saved it with his elbow but a high-speed trip through the gravel saw him re-join in 19th place, 9.3s behind Vinales.

Then came the 'unbelievable' part.

On a perfectly dry track and with almost the entire field on the same hard front-soft rear tyres, Marquez carved through to 10th by lap 10, 8th by lap 13, 6th by lap 17, 4th by lap 19 and then 3rd by lap 20 of 25.

The next rider ahead was Vinales, meaning Marquez had erased all the time lost to the Monster Yamaha rider during the earlier save.

But the same unrelenting determination to keep pushing forwards proved his undoing when the rear of his RCV let go at 150km/h through the Turn 3 left-hander, on lap 22, launching Marquez into the air and leaving him with a fractured arm.

"When you have a brother and something like this happens, for sure it affects you a little bit. But we know that Marc is strong, we know that Marc will come back," said Alex, after finishing his first MotoGP race in twelfth place.

"Today, I think he again gave a demonstration of why he is the champion and why he is one of the best riders in the world. He did an unbelievable race.

"He was in front of me when he came back out of the gravel and in three laps he had disappeared. So I said, 'wow, he will make a good show for sure again today'.

"But I didn't expect that when he crashed he was already up to third place. I thought maybe he was in seventh, eighth. Something like that."

The reigning Moto2 champion added: "If you take Marc's data from today, every rider would be destroyed. Because he's unbelievable. He was unbelievable today.

"I think all the riders here in the paddock will know that today he was the winner of this race, because he was unbelievably fast."

Marc will now undergo surgery to plate or pin the arm fracture on Tuesday and is almost certain to miss this weekend's second Jerez event.

"This can happen. We are humans. Everybody can be injured, and I hope that he will come back really soon and stronger," said Alex.

Petronas Yamaha's Fabio Quartararo went on to claim his first MotoGP victory on Sunday, by 4.6s over Vinales.

 

 

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