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MotoGP resumes in Spain under tight controls

JEREZ DE LA FRONTERA, Spain -- MotoGP resumed under strict health controls and without any fans on Saturday, following a four-month stoppage due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Races have been limited to a total of 1,200 people within the venue, including drivers, team members, track crew, medics and local staff, who must adhere to strict social distancing rules and wear face masks whenever possible.

Fabio Quartararo took pole position ahead of Sunday's Spanish Grand Prix with a lap record of 1:36.705 at Circuito de Jerez-Ángel Nieto. His Yamaha teammate Marc Viñales will start second.

Six-time defending MotoGP champion Marc Márquez finished the session with the third-fastest time.

The season-opening Qatar GP was canceled in March and MotoGP put on hold due to the pandemic.

The competition announced last month it would resume with a reduced calendar, which includes seven races in Spain.

Everyone attending must pass a COVID-19 virus test five days before each event and remain in self-isolation until the race. Random tests may also be carried out at the circuit.

Teams will be kept separate in small groups to reduce the risk of contagion.