CHESTE, Spain, Nov 17 – Marc Marquez, already assured of the MotoGP title, battled bravely to the fifth fastest time in Valencia as two other Spaniards claimed the first two places on the grid.
Marquez, who dislocated a shoulder, which he has injured several times before, most recently celebrating after clinching the world title in Japan last month, appeared to reinjure the shoulder as he slid out on his first qualifying lap.
He staggered back to his feet and jogged back to the Honda pits clutching his left arm as it hung unnaturally at his side. After receiving help pushing the joint back into place, the Spaniard returned to the tracks to record the fifth fastest time which puts him on the second row.
Maverick Vinales (Yamaha) took first place with Alex Rins (Suzuki) second on the Ricardo Tormo de Cheste circuit. The Italian Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati) completed the front row of the grid.
Vinales was only 11th fastest after practice and had to go through the repechage to get into the final qualifying.
“It’s incredible, it’s been a very good weekend, we’re working very well, I’m super happy,” Vinales told MotoGP television immediately after qualifying.