'I knew crash would come,' says Marquez after another Jerez heart-stopper

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Back in the saddle: after crashing in the third free practice at Jerez, Marc Marquez returned in the next session

Marc Marquez said he picked the "worst corner" at Jerez on Saturday for his first crash since returning after nine months out, but he climbed back on his bike and qualified for the Spanish MotoGP.

"It was a very fast and hard fall at Turn 7, we knew that the first crash of the season would come but I chose maybe one of the worst corners to have this first crash," said the Spaniard.

The six-time world champion's 2020 season ended in July when he crashed and broke his right arm on the same track in the first race last year.

He underwent four surgeries and missed the opening two races of this season, before returning in Portugal on April 18 where he finished seventh.

He was only 16th fastest in practice on Friday and said he was trying for a better time when he came off his bike on Saturday.

"When you push for a fast lap, you don't think about the risks and after being conservative yesterday, today was about attacking," he said.

He slid across the gravel alongside the track.

"The impact against the air fence was at a very high speed and thanks to the air fence I am here," he said

"I went to the hospital just for some further checks to be sure of my condition and it was all clear."

MotoGP doctor Angel Charte sent Marquez for the check-up.

"He has a huge contusion on his neck and the top of his back," the doctor said. "It doesn't cost us anything to do a scan. It's only a control scan, nothing more."

Marquez returned, but as he had not posted one of the 12 fastest practice times he had to go into the first qualifying session.

He finished fourth and missed a chance to advance to the second session where the first four rows of the grid are decided.

He said he had again adopted a conservative approach, opting for safer tyres.

"This crash impacted my qualifying, it made me choose the soft front to feel a bit safer, but this was the wrong choice."

"It's a shame because I was feeling strong and today was the first day I had really started to 'feel' the bike."

Honda team-mate Pol Espargaro later slid out at the same corner and the team tweeted a photo of their skid marks on the tarmac with the caption "leaving our marks at Turn 7 today."

"Not an easy day," said another team tweet.

"But everyone walks away without serious injury and ready to go again tomorrow."

pb/dj