MotoGP: Marquez crashes heavily at Jerez nine months after season-ending accident but races on

Marc Marquez fell heavily in the third practice session at the circuit. PHOTO: AFP

JEREZ DE LA FRONTERA, SPAIN (AFP) - Six-time world champion Marc Marquez escaped "major injury" after a high-speed crash in Spanish MotoGP practice at Jerez on Saturday (May 1) and is fit to continue racing.

"After his check, marcmarquez93 has been declared FIT for the remainder of the SpanishGP," his Honda team tweeted.

The 28-year-old Spaniard fell heavily in the third practice session at the circuit where last year he broke his right arm in the opening race to end his 2020 campaign.

"Marc is perfectly fine," MotoGP doctor Angel Charte told Spanish television station DAZN.

Marquez made his comeback after nine months out and multiple bouts of surgery at the Portuguese MotoGP last month.

He admitted to a "lack of strength" after he struggled in Friday practice at Jerez.

In Saturday's opening practice he lost control of his bike at 180kmh at Turn 7, sliding across gravel on his left arm and into a barrier.

Clearly shaken he managed to walk away and returned to the pits on a scooter.

After his medical check-up at the track, Honda reported the 28-year-old had "no major injuries suffering only a contusion".

Shortly after in a second tweet, the team added: "To double check his condition after the Turn 7 fall, @MarcMarquez93 is heading to hospital for further checks.

"These are precautionary and Marquez is not experiencing any pain or discomfort."

Marquez finished seventh on an emotional return to the championship in Portugal on April 18, having elected to skip the opening two races of 2021 at Qatar.

At Jerez on Friday he could muster only 16th in the opening two practice sessions.

After the third session, Takaaki Nakagami, riding for Honda's satellite LCR team topped the time sheets ahead of championship leader Fabio Quartararo of Yamaha.

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