Eight-time world champion Marc Marquez’s return to MotoGP action could be set to happen sooner than expected, as the Honda rider continues to make remarkable progress since being given the all-clear to ride motorcycles again by his medical team last week.
Marquez was declared fit to ‘gradually’ return to MotoGP action with Honda after a satisfactory check-up on his broken arm in which doctors were finally able to say that the bone has regrown sufficiently – almost eight months on from his initial accident.
He underwent major surgery in early December to graft a piece of bone from his pelvis to his arm to aid regrowth, and was forced to spend a week in hospital after contracting an infection in the bone.
No timeline was put on Marquez’s return to racing after that medical update, with the team simply saying that he could “now intensify his strength and mobility recovery programme with a view to gradually returning to competitive racing”.
Ayer, después de ocho meses y tras el ok de los doctores, por fin volví a sentir esta sensación aunque fuese con una mini moto 😁👍🏼
Yesterday, after eight months and the Doctors approval in the last check-up,I felt this feeling again although it was with a mini moto! #stepbystep pic.twitter.com/supRUYKmYD
— Marc Márquez (@marcmarquez93) March 13, 2021
However, that ‘gradual’ return has sped up dramatically in the past days, with Marquez first riding a mountain bike and then a minibike on a kart track before flying to Qatar on Sunday specifically to receive his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
He returned to Spain yesterday, before heading out on track today at the Barcelona circuit on the closest thing available to a MotoGP bike: Honda’s racing-derived, ultra-exclusive £154,000 RC213V-S.
Simply commenting that it ‘has been a while since he enjoyed something so much’ on social media, it looks like Marquez wasted no time in getting up to form, clearly able to ride the bike with enough pace to get his elbow down even if no lap times were released by his team.
It fuels speculation that he will now aim to return to competitive action for the opening round of the MotoGP championship in less than two weeks’ time in Qatar.
— Marc Márquez (@marcmarquez93) March 16, 2021
Speaking at the team’s launch last month, when it had already been confirmed he wouldn’t be able to make pre-season testing, Marquez admitted that a return for the opening round was his next target.
“Of course at the moment I don’t have an idea when I’ll be back, but I’m always trying to be optimistic and to have another goal,” he said.
“My goal was to try and be at the Qatar test, and I won’t be there.
“But that week I will have a doctor’s check, and my next goal will be to try and be at the [first] Qatar race, if it’s possible.
“If it’s not possible, I’ll try and be at Qatar 2. If that’s not possible, I’ll try to be in Portimao.”