Reigning MotoGP champion Marc Marquez has detailed the sequence of events that led to the sudden conclusion of his unlikely injury comeback at Jerez.
Marquez fractured his right humerus in a crash in the Jerez opener last weekend, and underwent surgery on Tuesday.
Though he was widely expected to miss the second part of the Jerez double-header, he was back to the circuit on Thursday and was passed fit to ride.
He sat out Friday practice, but looked in decent shape throughout Saturday’s sessions – only to ultimately pull out after a single out-lap in qualifying.
Speaking to the written media for the first time since his crash, Marquez offered a closer look at his ultimately failed bid to compete in the Andalucian Grand Prix.
“What I did during all the week is try to follow my instinct and try to especially understand my body and be honest to my body,” Marquez said.
“And it’s what I did. And for example, Monday, if you asked me, I would say impossible to race in Jerez.
“But then Tuesday Dr. [Xavier] Mir did a great job [with the surgery] and Wednesday I was able to do some push-ups, I was able to be at Cervera in my town, put on the leather suit, be on the bike, and I said okay, it’s possible.
“Then I started to speak with Honda, with the team, and yeah, they were a little bit [reluctant], of course they wanted to try to save me. But we made a kind of deal – that, ‘okay, I will try on Saturday but I will be really honest to you’. And it’s what I did.
“Thursday, the medical check was really tough and just now I say thanks to Dr. [Angel] Charte because he was pushing me a lot, with the push-ups, with everything, but the power was there, and the muscle was there, was working good. And for that reason I tried today.”
Marquez was 19th-fastest but just 1.3s off the pace in his first session of the Andalucian GP, Saturday morning’s third practice.
He was then within a second of the best time set by Honda stablemate Takaaki Nakagami in fourth practice, but his bid unravelled after a consistent first run that featured five consecutive laptimes between 1m38.5 and 1m38.9s.
“In the morning I felt really good, I was able to ride in [1m]37.7s with a used tyre that was pretty [much] same time as last week,” Marquez continued. “But then in the afternoon when I started to feel really good.
“I was able to ride also in a good way, in a good feeling, but then, suddenly, I stopped in the box and when I go out again, something changed. I mean, immediately.
“And was like, kind of, the inflammation or something, the arm got a little bit bigger. Then I think maybe [it] pressed a little bit some nerve and then I was losing the power, on the second run this afternoon, in some corners that I didn’t expect.
“And at that point you need to be honest with your body, and understand the situation. And it’s what I did.
“I said straight away to the team what’s going on and I said to them, I will go to QP1 [the first segment of qualifying]. If in the first lap I feel a little bit this feeling, or I have some feeling similar, I will give up.
“And it’s what I did.”
Marquez’s expedited return to the Honda RC213V drew mixed reactions, but the six-time champion says it gives him peace of mind.
“It [the withdrawal] is something that of course I didn’t expect, because if I’m here it’s because I was able to ride, but I want to say thanks to Honda and to all the doctors and the physios, because they gave me the chance to follow my passion, to follow my instinct, to follow what my body was asking.
“And tonight I will sleep in a good way. Because I tried, [it] was not possible, and yeah, Brno will be another race.”