(video) Marquez makes speedy return as Vinales tops practice

SPAIN: World champion Marc Marquez made his remarkable return four days after surgery in Saturday’s Andalucia MotoGP third practice with Maverick Vinales setting a track record at Jerez to top the time sheets.

Marquez sat out Friday’s two opening sessions to conserve his energy for qualifying later Saturday.

The 27-year-old Honda star had been declared fit to race on Thursday despite an operation just 48 hours earlier on a broken arm sustained in a heavy crash in last Sunday’s Spanish Grand Prix opener, also at Jerez.

Marquez is hoping to qualify for the second leg of the coronavirus-disrupted season later Saturday. He posted a time that left him 20th, 1.3sec behind Yamaha’s Vinales, who lowered Fabio Quartararo’s circuit record set last weekend with a time of 1min 36.584sec.

Quartararo, who became the first French MotoGP winner since 1999 when he took the delayed season-opener, posted the second quickest practice time ahead of Ducati’s Australian rider and Japan’s Takaaki Nakagami for Honda’s LCR satellite team. – AFP

Standings of the combined first three practice sessions

1. Maverick Vinales (ESP/Yamaha) 1:36.584

2. Fabio Quartararo (FRA/Yamaha-SRT) at 0.059s

3. Jack Miller (AUS/Ducati-Pramac) 0.126

4. Takaaki Nakagami (JPN/Honda-LCR) 0.258

5. Francesco Bagnaia (ITA/Ducati-Pramac) 0.263

6. Danilo Petrucci (ITA/Ducati) 0.353

7. Brad Binder (AFS/KTM) 0.354

8. Valentino Rossi (ITA/Yamaha) 0.404

9. Pol Espargaro (ESP/KTM) 0.411

10. Joan Mir (ESP/Suzuki) 0.469

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