Rins holds off Álex Márquez to win Aragón MotoGP

ALCAÑIZ, Spain (AP) — Álex Rins held off a late charge by Álex Márquez to win the Aragón MotoGP on Sunday.

Rins, who began 10th on the grid, finished 0.263 seconds in front of Márquez, who started 11th.

Márquez, brother of six-time MotoGP champion Marc Márquez, was coming off another second-place finish at Le Mans a week ago.

“I didn’t expect to be on the podium starting from 11th place,” Álex Márquez said. “I attacked like crazy.”

Marc Márquez, who is out injured, wrote on Twitter shortly after the race: “Hi everyone, I’m Álex Márquez’s brother.”

Joan Mir finished third to close out the all-Spanish podium and take over the points lead from Fabio Quartararo, who started from pole position but finished out of the points after gradually dropping positions throughout the race at the MotorLand circuit. The 21-year-old Frenchman crashed in a practice session before qualifying on Saturday and had to be taken to the track’s medical center.

It was the third career win for Rins, who became the eighth winner in 10 races this season. He also set the fastest lap on Sunday.

“Unbelievable,” Rins said. “From the start I was so calm. I did a really good start. In the end I tried to manage the distance with the guy on the back. It’s amazing. This first position is for all the fans who always come here to the track in Aragón.”

No fans were at the track on Sunday because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Veteran Italian rider Valentino Rossi didn’t race after testing positive for COVID-19.

The riders will race in Aragón again next weekend. The following two races will also take place in Spain, at the Ricardo Tormo circuit in Valencia. The championship then finishes in the Algarve, in Portugal.

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