To wish everyone happy holidays, Marc Marquez posted a photo next to a Christmas tree. His right arm was protected by the carbon brace that has, unfortunately, become famous in recent months. A sort of protective armor.
With just a few days left till the end of the year, there is no information on the champion’s physical condition. The latest official statement was issued when Marc left the hospital in Madrid where he had undergone his third operation… then total silence, interspersed with a few rumors about an alleged nerve injury. Right now, all we can do is wait and see what the doctors say about Marc getting back on his bike.
Marquez’s absence at the first winter tests scheduled in Sepang in just over a month is practically certain, while the beginning of the championship, relying on the official calendar, is four months away to date (the first race is scheduled for Qatar on March 28th).
Will Marc be able to fully recover from his injury and be on the track by that date? Right now, there’s no answer to that. And this forces Honda to solve what would end up being a big problem: how to replace Marc and, above all, for how long.
In recent months, Andrea Dovizioso’s name has been mentioned several times, but it’s not the Italian rider’s intention to play the role of a “coin-operated rider”, namely, a stop-gap. and then leave the track when Marquez returns.
Recently, a fascinating but impossible idea had come up: allow the Repsol team three bikes, like they did in 2011 when Dovi teamed up with Pedrosa and Stoner.
This would allow Honda to start with Dovizioso and Pol Espargarò, then Marc would join them once his arm problems were resolved.
But the Christmas story doesn’t have a happy ending. As reported by Motorionline, Carmelo Ezpeleta was clear on this point: “Exceptions are out of the question. It will not be possible to have more than two bikes per team. Honda has two available for the Repsol team and another two for Lucio Cecchinello’s.”
For the big boss at Dorna, the matter is closed. Honda’s top management will have to solve the problem. First of all, however, we’ll need to find out when Marquez will be back on the track.