Marquez out after horror crash as Indonesian MotoGP start delayed

MANDALIKA, Indonesia, Mar 20 Six-time world champion Marc Marquez was ruled out of the Indonesian MotoGP with a concussion after a horror warm-up crash before the start of Sunday’s race was delayed by heavy rain.

Marquez was catapulted from his bike on turn seven just before the end of Sunday morning’s 20-minute session at the Mandalika International Street Circuit.

Marquez’s Honda cartwheeled end-over-end as it disintegrated and the Spaniard appeared to land heavily on his left arm and hit his helmet on the ground at approximately 180kph (112mph).

A shaken Marquez got to his feet and gingerly walked away before being taken to a nearby hospital for medical checks.

His team Honda later reported on social media: “Marc Marquez has been declared unfit after examination in local hospital and by the circuit staff and doctors.”

Marquez had already suffered a bruising weekend, having two crashes during qualifying on Saturday, and was thought to have suffered a concussion from Sunday’s spectacular accident.

He had been due to start from 14th on the grid after being promoted one spot due to a three-place grid penalty for Yamaha’s Franco Morbidelli.

Organisers announced the MotoGP race would be reduced from 27 laps to 20 over tyre safety fears caused by the extreme heat at the circuit.

Then a heavy rainstorm delayed the 3:00 pm (0700 GMT) start by at least 45 minutes with water pooling on the track and lightning bolts crashing down around the circuit.

MotoGP has returned to Indonesia for the first time since 1997.

The new venue on the resort island of Lombok was partially resurfaced following problems during February’s testing.

Supplier Michelin brought an old tyre casing last raced in 2018 in an effort to combat the conditions.

But Honda and Suzuki riders, in particular, have complained about a lack of rear grip on the tyre with Marquez appearing to suffer more than most.

Track temperatures hit 43 Celsius (109 Fahrenheit) during Sunday’s preceding Moto2 race, which was also shortened from 25 to 16 laps.

“We’ve decided to reduce the distance on safety grounds as a result of the high temperatures,” said a brief statement from the governing body, FIM.

Current world champion Fabio Quartararo will start from pole position for the first MotoGP race to take place in Indonesia for a quarter of a century.

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