It had been two and a half months since Marc Márquez had walked through the paddock or appeared in front of the media. Visiting his team during the thirteenth round of the MotoGP World Championship in Austria made him the main protagonist of the event without even being able to get on the bike. In fact, even he himself is not sure when he can return to the track. “Next week I will have a CAT scan and the result will tell me if I can return this season,” he said this Thursday from Spielberg, where a downpour with gale force winds shortened his long-awaited assignment. “It’s safe, isn’t it? That would be just what I need,” he joked before the HRC RV capsized.
The Cervera driver added that he feels he is on the right track and knows his decision to undergo surgery last June was the right one. “Go this route or retire,” he confirmed when speaking of the fourth operation on his battered right arm. “When I get on the bike for the first time I will know if it worked or not.” The aim of the eighth world champion and the main character of the competition is to do this course again and he stated that he will do so when he feels 70% of his potential. “Getting on a bike is the best possible rehabilitation,” he estimated.
Unlike 2020 and 2021, when he strayed too far from the team dynamic, this time he decided to merge at a very difficult time for his factory: “I lost a lot of contact then and when I came back everything was different too a lot of. I don’t want to go through that again and this time I’m maintaining a lot more communication with my most direct team.”
Márquez, who took advantage of the Austrian hills to get on a bike for the first time post-surgery, showed up in the Repsol Honda pits with a desire to give a team a boost during weak hours. In photos shared by the team, he was seen smiling alongside HRC Director Tetsuhiro Kuwata and some mechanics. “In difficult times, one person cannot make a difference. I’m here to work as a team and I want to be part of it.” In one of the worst Hamamatsu-branded world championships, he is still the rider with the most points in the standings despite only six races. “All the riders had a bad time on the bike and that means the project is not in its prime.”
The presence of the 93 in Austria aims to lay a solid foundation for the 2023 season and the rider cited the example of Ducati and the changes with a European stamp in the championship as the main point of reference. “When I talk about changing things in a team, I don’t mean people, I mean concepts. For me the most important thing is the question of coordination, how information flows. All areas have to row together”, the one from Cervera deepened. He ruled out, at least publicly, the need for a revolution in the brand’s ranks. Marquez says he’s confident of getting back to winning ways and made no bones about the fact that, like Honda’s, his only goal is to be world champion again.
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