JEREZ DE LA FRONTERA - Spaniard Marc Marquez (Honda) flew past the chequered flag way ahead of his rivals in the Spanish Grand Prix at Jerez de la Frontera on Sunday, climbing atop the MotoGp championship standings in the process.

Frenchman Johann Zarco on his Yamaha Tech3 finished over five seconds adrift of the world champion in second while Andrea Iannone of Suzuki was third at 8.214sec. Zarco climbed to second in the standings with 58 points behind Marquez on 70 while Italian Iannone gained a second consecutive podium spot that took him to fourth on 48.

The race was marked by crashes that took out several of the chief contenders including British pole sitter Cal Crutchlow of Honda, Spaniards Dani Pedrosa and Jorge Lorenzo and the Italian Andrea Dovizioso who had led the championship going into the race. Lorenzo, Dovizioso and Pedrosa looked destined to fight for the win but all fell in a turn six collision just as Marquez, who started from the second row, had pulled slightly ahead with seven laps still remaining.

Race commissioners decided there had been no infringement as Marquez tore away and Zarco swept past the stricken trio. "I really never believed I could win this race from the second row. But I was clever and pushed it. It's a long race with many different things to bear in mind," Marquez said.

Zarco thanked his lucky stars after the race. "Sometimes you need a little luck and today I got some," said the Frenchman. "When the three of them fell I could hardly believe it." "I said to myself 'keep calm there's only seven laps left' and these 20 points are great for the championship," he said. Danilo Petrucci was fourth at 8.617sec and the veteran Italian Valentino Rossi was fifth right on his tail.

Italian Lorenzo Baldassarri won the Moto2 race at the Spanish Grand Prix for his second career victory on Sunday, with German Philipp Oettl taking the honours in the Moto3 category. Baldassarri (Kalex) lead from the start at Jerez de la Frontera, was overtaken but then regained the lead and kept it to the finish. Portuguese rider Miguel Oliveira (KTM) was second and another Italian on a Kalex, Francesco Bagnaia, was third.

The Spanish favourite Alex Marquez (Kalex) crashed when leading. Oettl (KTM) ended his long wait for a first career win, claiming the plaudits in Moto3 in his 91st race.

His father Peter won two GPs in an 11-year career. Oettl had to battle to the line to hold off Italian Marco Bezzecchi (KTM). "It's the best way to celebrate my birthday, said Oettl, who turns 22 on Thursday.

Spaniard Marcos Ramirez (KTM) completed the podium after his compatriot Alonso Lopez (Honda), who crossed the line third, was moved down a place as punishment for going off the track.