Six-time MotoGP world champion Marc Marquez will attend next week’s Austrian Grand Prix at the Red Bull Ring – not to rejoin the 2022 championship after his latest extended absence, but rather to begin the process of returning to action following his latest surgery.
That’s according to the latest update released by the Repsol Honda team, which confirmed rumours that first appeared at last weekend’s British Grand Prix by revealing that Marquez would attend the Austrian race “to reconnect with the team and begin to make a plan for the future”.
It comes as he continues to work on his physical condition following surgery in June to once again attempt to repair the damage to the right upper arm he broke in July 2020.
He travelled to Minnesota’s Mayo Clinic for the extensive repair – which entailed breaking, twisting and resetting the bone – and now hasn’t raced since Mugello at the end of May.
But with his recovery now finally feeling like it’s making good progress, Marquez has been able to return to both the gym and to light cardio training.
While he’s keen to not yet put a deadline on his racing return, it’s clear that he’s moving towards it in a methodical way.
“Step by step I am feeling better, and the bone is healing in a good way,” he explained, “which is the best news of all. We are still in rehabilitation mode; I am working very hard on the cardio side to try and be ready.
“At the end of August, I have another medical check, from there we can make another step with the rehabilitation and really start pushing and building muscles. Some days are better than others, but this is all part of the journey.
“I’m optimistic, but I don’t want to say too much about timings until we have this check – it’s not the time to push too much. I have waited a long time for these kinds of feelings.”
That feeling will come as a welcome relief, too, as the eight-time world champion admits. Having now endured years of constant pain and uncertainty, it’s clear that he can now finally start to see some light at the end of the tunnel.
“It has been a struggle, it’s not two days or two months I have been struggling, it’s two years,” he continued. “I won some races last year like this, but I was struggling a lot.
“In Jerez I realised something had to change.
“It was hard and is hard now mentally – not because I am not racing, but because you always have this doubt about the arm.
“I can’t have another operation. I am convinced this one will be good, but these thoughts are always there in the back of your mind.”