We waited months for the 2020 MotoGP to get underway and we weren’t disappointed with a thrilling Spanish MotoGP that won’t be forgotten in a hurry.

Days later though we are back, once more at Jerez for the Andalucia MotoGP – but will it be a case of same again, or all change?

Can Fabio Go Again? | Andalucia MotoGP Preview | Crash.net

Rewind, replay for Fabio Quartararo and Yamaha?

Marc Marquez’s mistake-comeback-crash race triumvirate might have swallowed up the lion’s share of the headlines on Sunday, but really the day belonged to Fabio Quartararo and – it must not be forgotten – Petronas SRT Yamaha.

While the young Frenchman’s win felt a long time coming somehow, his victory – a crushing one in the end – went both ways in confirming what we expected while avoiding the dreaded ‘second year blues’ of crumbling under heightened expectations.

Almost encouragingly it was done under the spectre of him not being entirely happy with his new 2020-spec Yamaha M1, which he says has been tough to adapt to.

Come Sunday though he was full of praise for his new machinery and while Yamaha itself might be counting down the days until he’s celebrating success in blue, they certainly share the delight in what is only its third win in just over 12 months.

Now Quartararo faces a new and unusual challenge… to do it again on the same circuit. Whether that makes things simpler or ratchets up the pressure remains to be seen…

The riders with something to prove

While there were a few riders coming away satisfied with their day’s work on Sunday, many will be relishing the chance to get back out on the same track and make amends.

Beyond the walking wounded of Marc Marquez, Alex Rins and Cal Crutchlow – some or all of which may or may not be competing this weekend – Suzuki will be keen to do a veritable 180 after failing to score when Joan Mir crashed out early on.

Meanwhile, Aprilia didn’t appear close to the pace it demonstrated on occasion during pre-season testing, performance brought into sharper context by the strong results by comparison of its most direct equivalent KTM (see below).

Johann Zarco showed flashes of his best but was ultimately let down by a poor qualifying performance, while Danilo Petrucci will hope his anonymous form could be explained away by injuries sustained in testing rather than a continuation of the worryingly similar pace he showed during the latter half of 2019.

Meanwhile, Alex Marquez will hope for more than what he achieved on a low key debut, not least because if his brother Marc Marquez and possibly also Crutchlow are forced to sit out the weekend through injury, he will be elevated to Honda’s leading contender.

KTM in the hunt for a podium?

One of the more understated – yet no less impressive – performances from the Spanish MotoGP weekend was the sizeable step forward made by KTM.

While the event didn’t deliver a best-ever result for the manufacturer or see any of the headline-grabbing single lap blasts to the sharp end of the timesheets we’ve previously seen, pound for pound this was KTM’s best race weekend yet since its debut.

Moreover, it was impressive across the board. While a scrappy finish demoted Pol Espargaro to sixth by the chequered flag, KTM found itself with a shot at the top three among some accomplished Yamaha and Ducati company.

Meanwhile, Brad Binder was undoubtedly one of the weekend’s star performers. The South African on his debut was a shadow for Espargaro on raw pace throughout and was unfortunate not to squeeze through into Q2 at the first time of asking, while he was running well inside the top ten when a mistake dropped him back. A rookie error it may have been, but then he is a rookie…

Then there was Miguel Oliveira, who overcame a lacklustre qualifying to stealthily haul himself into the top ten en route to eighth place, equalling his best result in MotoGP and giving Tech 3 Racing a very positive start to it second year with KTM machinery, while Iker Lecuona was also heading for a top ten before his retirement.

With the benefit of experience, the team will be looking to make good on that substantial promise this this time around.