Fabio Quartararo finally turned pole into victory as Marc Marquez was injured in the process of making a couple of uncharacteristic errors at MotoGP™'s delayed season opener in Jerez.
Frenchman Quartararo was named rookie of the year in 2019 but failed to register a victory despite qualifying first on six occasions.
But the Petronas Yamaha rider finally earned a maiden premier class triumph at the Spanish Grand Prix on Sunday, the first race of 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
It looked like being a familiar tale when Marquez passed race leader Maverick Vinales with 23 laps remaining, after the duo thrillingly jostled for position.
However, the defending champion, racing on the brink as MotoGP™ fans have become accustomed to witnessing in his career, went far too wide at Turn 4 a couple of laps later and into the dirt - impressively holding the bike to continue in the race.
The Spaniard valiantly fought back through the field and appeared on course to brilliantly finish second until losing the bike with a huge highside with four laps to go when chasing Vinales – his Repsol Honda smashing painfully into his arm. Images showed him on a stretcher later in the race.
Quartararo himself had made an inauspicious start, slipping from first to fifth in the opening laps as Vinales took ownership of top spot.
Vinales had already made an error shortly prior to locking up at Turn 13 with 17 laps to go, though, and he ultimately had to settle for winning the battle for second.
Jack Miller of Pramac Racing had held a podium spot for much of the race but eventually slipped behind Andrea Dovizioso, who only underwent surgery on a broken collarbone last month.
Valentino Rossi was among the retirees along with Joan Mir, whose team-mate Alex Rins did not race after sustaining a serious shoulder injury on Saturday. Cal Crutchlow was also inactive following a bad crash in Sunday's warm up that left him with a concussion.
- Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha)
- Maverick Vinales (Monster Energy Yamaha) + 4.603s
- Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati) + 5.946s
- Jack Miller (Pramac Racing) +6.668s
- Franco Morbidelli (Petronas Yamaha) +6.844s
- Pol Espargaro (KTM) +6.938s
- Francesco Bagnaia (Pramac Racing) +13.027s
- Miguel Oliveira (KTM) +13.441s
- Danilo Petrucci (Ducati) +19.651s
- Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda) +21.553s
- Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha) 25
- Maverick Vinales (Monster Energy Yamaha) 20
- Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati) 16
- Jack Miller (Pramac Racing) 13
- Franco Morbidelli (Petronas Yamaha)11
- Petronas Yamaha 36
- Ducati 23
- Pramac Racing 22
- Monster Energy Yamaha 20
- KTM 13
The riders remain in Jerez for the second of a double header, which will be titled the Andalusia MotoGP™.