Alex Marquez brought the Jerez back-to-back to a close on a high after overcoming a lowly grid position to notch up his first top ten MotoGP finish in the Andalucia MotoGP.

While his brother and Repsol Honda team-mate Marc Marquez has attracted the lion’s share of the attention with his injury and subsequent aborted comeback, Alex has been making steady gains since his debut weekend on the Honda RC213V.

Having notched up his first points with a conservative run to 12th in the Spanish MotoGP, Marquez put himself on the back foot, as well as the back row, at the following Andalucia MotoGP when he crashed during qualifying.

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However, in race trim Marquez would prove more competitive with a race time that was nine seconds quicker than a week earlier.

His own progress coupled with a high attrition rate would ultimately spur him on to eighth position at the finish, already surpassing that of his predecessor Jorge Lorenzo, who managed a top finish of 11th in a disrupted 2019 campaign.

“Second race in MotoGP and well, I’m quite happy! We clearly made a decent step compared to last weekend and this was our main target. Two races in a row at the same track gives us a good opportunity to try things and make a step and we took advantage of that.

“Our race was nine seconds faster than last weekend, which is already a good improvement given the conditions. We’ve made a good step and have a good base as well.

“Now it’s time to head to Brno, one of my favourite tracks and I’m looking to make another step with three races in a row. It has been a good start, but there’s more to come!”

His efforts didn’t escape the notice of Team HRC boss Alberto Puig, who praised his rate of progress from the weekend before.

“He did a really good job. The target was to finish the race and reduce the gap with the leader. Last week this gap was 27 seconds, this time it was only 19, this is nearly 8 seconds gained, it’s a lot – especially given the conditions.

“He had a good pace, but he still needs to understand the bike with new tyres. From our racing and technical point of view we are very happy because he is learning and understanding every race at a good speed. Not crashing is helping him to make more steps and be faster each time he gets on the bike."