Motorcycle racer Marc Marquez injured in dramatic crash at MotoGP season opener

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(AP)

Defending MotoGP racing champion Marc Marquez pulled off an incredible save when he nearly crashed his motorcycle on the fifth lap of the season-opening Spanish Grand Prix in Jerez, Spain, on Sunday.

The Spaniard was in the lead when he lost traction in Turn 4 at high speed and slid into the gravel trap.

Amazingly, he managed to keep the bike upright and rejoin the race at the back of the pack.

The six-time champion then started picking off riders one by one and found himself in third place with four laps left in the 25-lap event as broadcast commentators for the race joked that his skills suggest he may not be human.

However, as he entered Turn 4 his rear tire slipped out again, but there was nothing he could do this time around and the bike flipped, sending him over the high side and rolling into the gravel as it slid into him.

Marquez quickly got to his feet and walked to safety, but medics soon had his arm in a sling and his neck stabilized with a brace as they took him away on a stretcher.

REUTERS/Marcelo Del Pozo

An examination determined that he had fractured his humerus and would require surgery.

He posted a photo of himself looking cheery on Twitter later in the day with a message that included “I hope you all enjoyed the comeback!”

MotoGP's doctor Angel Charte said it was the impact with the sliding motorcycle that caused the injury, and that it would require an implant, according to Autosport.com.

It is not known when Marquez will be able to return to racing.

Frenchman Fabio Quartararo held on to win the race and notch the first victory of his MotoGP career.

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