MotoGP’s walking wounded trio of Marc Marquez, Cal Crutchlow and Alex Rins have made it through the opening day of action for the Andalucian Grand Prix at Jerez without incident, albeit with the reigning champion electing to sit out the track action as he continues to recover from injuries sustained last weekend.
Marquez, who only underwent surgery to have a broken right humerus plated on Tuesday, is working on a plan of limited track time as he tries to minimise both his risk and the damage to his title aspirations.
Only planning to ride in tomorrow’s FP3 to secure his route to qualifying and then in Sunday’s race, Marquez says he’s confident that the plan will pay off.
“Yesterday I arrived at the circuit after the operation in Barcelona and passed the medical test in the afternoon,” Marquez explained. “It means I can ride, and after discussing with Honda we decided to start directly on Saturday.
“I have slept quite well, I am obviously in some pain, but we have had physiotherapy sessions with my physio that have been quite good for me.
“With the team we have set ourselves only one objective, which is to see our feelings tomorrow in FP3. Let’s see how the arm is and from there we will decide our next objective.”
Crutchlow also underwent surgery in Barcelona on Sunday after breaking his scaphoid in a warm-up crash, but was able to complete 37 laps on Friday. Admitting that he was struggling and ending up 20th on combined times, he’s nonetheless confident that he’ll be able to race.
“It was good to get back on track again, with not too bad a feeling on the bike. The team and Honda are very relaxed, but I’ve been able to show them that I’m able to ride the bike.
“I don’t actually have so much pain in my wrist, and when I do I just try and ride around it the best I can. My condition on the bike isn’t superb, but we’ll keep working to make me as comfortable as we can on the bike.”
However, things are looking less cheerful for Alex Rins in the Suzuki camp. He sustained a minor fracture to his shoulder in his qualifying crash on Saturday, but it’s muscle and ligament damage that’s affecting him more than the bone – and he conceded that it may yet prove impossible to race.
“I would like to say it was a good day, but it was a hard and painful one,” Rins said. “On the bike I’ve been feeling a lot of pain, and I thought I would be able to ride around it but I saw after the session that that was impossible.
“But we need to keep fighting, and FP2 was a lot better than the first session after I took some analgesics. Let’s see how it is tomorrow because I need to feel good on the bike, and as soon as I start to realise I don’t have enough power then I’ll stop because it’s dangerous for me and for the other riders.”
Given the high attrition rate of the opening weekend of action, Crutchlow says that Jerez’s design features will have to be addressed in the safety commission, with the British rider aware that changes may need to be made for 2021.
“It seems that over the weekend everyone who crashed fast in the gravel broke bones. The depth of the gravel means we ended tumbling a lot. We need to look at it, because I’m sure that it’s what created a lot of the problems.”