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Even in MotoGP's virtual world, a Marquez still rules

Video Credit: Reuters - Sports - Duration: 02:58s - Published
Even in MotoGP's virtual world, a Marquez still rules
Alex Marquez wins the #StayAtHomeGP esports race.
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SHOWS: INTERNET (MARCH 29, 2020) (DORNA - ACCESS ALL) 1.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) MOTOGP ESPORT COMMENTATOR, JACK APPLEYARD, SAYING: "Avery good afternoon and welcome along to this, well, historic grand prix.

The first ever virtual MotoGP race held in everybody's living room, well, across the world.

We've got people coming from Andorra, Spain, Italy, all to join in the very first #Stay At Home GP 2.

FABIO QUARTARARO DURING QUALIFYING SESSION 3.

GRAPHIC SHOWING QUALIFYING TIMES, WHICH QUARTARARO TOPPED 4.

RACE START 5.

QUARTARARO AND MAVERICK VINALES CRASHING 6.

QUARTARARO OVERTAKING IKER LECUONA 7.

JOAN MIR 8.

FRANCESCO BAGNAIA BATTLING WITH ALEX MARQUEZ 9.

ALEIX ESPARGARO CRASHING 10.

BAGNAIA CRASHING 11.

ALEX MARQUEZ CROSSING THE

Class="kln">FINISH LINE FIRST 12.

GRAPHIC SHOWING RACE RESULTS 13.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) #STAYATHOMEGP WINNER, ALEX MARQUEZ, SAYING: "Well, so, so happy.

I knew before the race that I was not the fastest one, in one lap (during qualifying) especially.

But constantly (sticking) with my target, or my only target (of winning) the race." STORY: Alex Marquez celebrated a first MotoGP win -- even if only virtually -- in a '#StayAtHomeGP' esports race featuring 10 top riders including older brother and six-time world champion Marc.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic that has brought live sport to a standstill, the 23-year-old Moto2 champion is still waiting to debut in the top category after moving up to partner Marc at Repsol Honda.

The opening race in Qatar on March 8 was cancelled and all other races up to May 17 have been postponed, with more likely to be stalled.

Sunday's (March 29) light-hearted online race, with riders joining remotely, was put on by MotoGP organisers to give fans something to watch while reinforcing the message about staying safe at home.

"I am really pleased to win my first race!" joked Alex, whose brother has won the last four MotoGP titles and triumphed in 12 of last year's 19 races with single-season point and podium records.

The Spaniard said Indonesian esports racer Putut Maulana had given him some useful tips, which he had kept to himself out of sibling rivalry.

Italian Francesco Bagnaia was second for Pramac Ducati with Yamaha's Spaniard Maverick Vinales third in a crash-strewn race over six laps around the virtual Italian Grand Prix circuit at Mugello.

Marc Marquez was fifth.

Second only to Italy in fatalities, Spain is preparing to enter its third week under near-total lockdown with most of the population housebound as the country tries to curb the virus.

Seven of Sunday's 10 riders were Spanish.

Petronas Yamaha's French rider Fabio Quartararo came fourth, and set the fastest lap, after starting from pole position but taking out future team mate Vinales at the first corner of a chaotic opening lap.

(Production: Stefan Haskins)



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