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Alex Marquez wins chaotic #StayAtHomeGP MotoGP Esports race

Honda's Alex Marquez eased to victory in MotoGP's inaugural #StayAtHome Grand Prix around a virtual Mugello circuit, while there were crashes for brother Marc, Maverick Vinales and Fabio Quartararo

Reigning Moto2 world champion Alex was due to make his MotoGP debut at the start of the month in Qatar, before the race was cancelled due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

MotoGP's 2020 season is currently on hold until at least May's French Grand Prix - though the Le Mans race, and the following Italian GP at Mugello are set to be postponed imminently.

In lieu of real-world racing, MotoGP organised a six-lap Esports race for 10 of its riders at Mugello, with Marquez cruising to a seven-second victory after an early tussle with Pramac Ducati's Francesco Bagnaia.

A five-minute qualifying session preceded the race, with Petronas SRT's Quartararo beating Bagnaia by over two tenths on his virtual Yamaha to pole, while future works Yamaha team-mate Vinales completed the front row.

Marquez started the race from fourth position, but threw himself into a lead battle with Bagnaia on the opening lap.

Italian rider Bagnaia ran wide at the San Donato right-hander at the start of the second lap, and Marquez assumed the lead.

Bagnaia attempted to catch Marquez but a crash on the penultimate lap ended his victory chances and ensured Marquez won the race by 7.093s

Quartararo crashed at the first turn on the opening lap, with his errant bike wiping out his works Yamaha counterpart Vinales. Both dropped to the back of the field.

Vinales recovered to finish on the podium, while Quartararo had another incident just a couple of laps in.

A crash for reigning six-time MotoGP champion Marc Marquez at the halfway stage dropped him out of the podium places, and he was also passed by Quartararo for fourth with a daring dive up the inside of the Savelli left-hander.

Marquez took fifth place with just two days of practice on the game.

Suzuki riders Alex Rins and Joan Mir finished in sixth and seventh place respectively.

Tech3 KTM's Miguel Oliveira struggled to adapt to the virtual world, finishing eighth but ahead of his 2020 team-mate Iker Lecuona, who had multiple crashes.

Aleix Espargaro's limited time in the virtual world showed he finished 10th and last of the riders on the Aprilia.

MotoGP is set to announce more virtual races in the near future.

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