July 25, 2020 / 1:35 PM / 20 days ago

Quartararo on pole at Andalusian Grand Prix, Marquez withdraws

(Reuters) - Fabio Quartararo clinched a second consecutive pole position for Petronas Yamaha at the Andalusian Grand Prix in Jerez on Saturday while Repsol Honda confirmed defending champion Marc Marquez would not be risked as he recovers from a broken arm.

MotoGP - Andalucia Grand Prix - Circuito de Jerez, Jerez, Spain - July 25, 2020 Petronas Yamaha SRT's Fabio Quartararo in action during qualifying REUTERS/Jon Nazca

Frenchman Quartararo, who won the season-opening Spanish Grand Prix last weekend, finished with a time of one minute 37.007 seconds and will start at the front of the grid.

Yamaha’s Spaniard Maverick Vinales set a faster time but saw it scrapped because he exceeded the track limits by inches at turn seven.

Francesco Bagnaia of the Pramac Ducati team completed the front row, while his Italian compatriot and former champion Valentino Rossi made it a good day for Yamaha by clinching fourth on the grid.

Marc Marquez, who was declared fit to race after surgery on a broken arm he sustained in last weekend’s race, did not complete an out lap in the first session and returned to the pits before walking into the team’s garage.

Marquez did not return to qualifying and the team later confirmed that he would not take part in Sunday’s race either, marking the first time in his MotoGP career that the Spaniard will miss a race due to injury.

“We won’t take any more risks,” Honda boss Alberto Puig said after the qualifying session. “Marc won’t race tomorrow.”

“In Q1 (first qualifying), Marc felt worse, it was better not to take any risks. It was a lot to come here and try but we’ve made the right decision. A champion can’t stay at home if he thinks there’s a chance.”

Honda’s weekend got worse when Alex Marquez crashed at turn five in the first session. He walked away clutching his right arm but the team said he avoided serious injury.

Ducati’s Andrea Dovizioso had a qualifying session to forget as he failed to get into the second session, finishing 14th in first qualifying.

LCR Honda’s Cal Crutchlow and Suzuki’s Alex Rins, who both suffered injuries last weekend, will start 13th and 20th respectively on the grid.

Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Ken Ferris

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