The short sleeves of the Repsol Honda branded polo shirt fail to completely hide the scar on Marc Marquez's right arm. The Spanish champion returned after months of absence to talk to the press, to explain his physical condition, his goals and what has happened in recent months.
Everyone is wondering when he will return to racing and Marquez tried to answer.
"At the moment I don't have an exact idea of when I'll be back, but I'm optimistic - he explains - My goal was to try to be in the Qatar test, but I won't be there. So my second goal is the first race in Qatar”.
Is this a realistic goal?
"In mid-March I will have another doctors’ check to evaluate the bone consolidation, and the doctors will decide. If they give me the ok then I'll continue with rehabilitation. Logically, I will only get on a MotoGP bike when I am in an acceptable physical condition, even if I had permission today I would not be able to do it ”.
"I have three goals: to get back on the bike, have fun, and go back to being the same Marc Marquez"
This incident will have an impact on your approach to racing…
“For the moment my first goal is to get back on the bike, the second to have fun and the third to return to being the same Marc Marquez as always. I told the doctors to give me the okay to ride when my arm is ready to take another fall. When I get back on the bike I will take my risks on the track, my style will always be the same even if not from the beginning, it will take time ".
What did 2020 teach you?
"It didn't bring me many positive things (laughs), but I learned something. That is, the most important thing sometimes is not to get back on the bike as soon as possible. We made a mistake by deciding to try to race in Jerez and we have to accept it. This was the only lesson, the rest was just a big mess (laughs) ".
"We were all wrong together, I don't point the finger at anyone"
Whose mistake was it?
“The decision was made by everyone together, I always talk about the team when I win and you have to do it in this case too. The final decision was mine, but when the doctors tell you that you can do it then you give it a try, you know what we riders are like. I felt capable of doing it, but it was not what my body needed. I don't want to point the finger at the doctors, in the past many riders have taken risks, when all goes well then it is said that it is a miracle, that riders are not human. Now I can say that in the future I might not take the same risks in the event of an injury, but nothing would have changed if instead of racing at Jerez it would have been Brno, the bone would not have healed in such a short time. To go back to the question: who was wrong? We were all wrong together. I realized that in some cases the best thing is to stay calm, have different opinions and then evaluate them ”.
Dr. Costa resented the fact that you did not accept his help…
“I have a good relationship with him, I really appreciate him for everything he has done for motorcycling. In recent months there has been a lot of speculation and at times it was made without knowing the reasons for certain decisions. For example, Dr. Costa had said that they should have used a screw and not a plate to fix the bone, but they couldn't. The doctors had made it clear that it was the best solution, but it was not feasible because, after the shoulder operation, I had problems with my muscles and tendons. Unfortunately I was unlucky because of the infection, without it I would have already recovered. I consulted with many doctors and then I chose the best solution for me and my arm, I went to have an operation in Madrid because in my head I also needed a change. However, Dr. Mir remains my trusted doctor, if I were to get hurt tomorrow I would call him ".
It was also thought that there was a problem with the radial nerve...
"Fortunately I never had nerve problems, it was the pseudarthrosis that did not allow the bone to heal. Unfortunately, it was such a light infection that it did not appear in the analysis, which is why I had an operation in December and not before ".
"The most difficult period was between September and October, but I never thought I wouldn't be able to race anymore"
How have you been living through these months?
“Of course it was tough mentally too. The most difficult moment was between September and October, because the arm did not improve, I had the feeling that something was moving inside. I kept taking tests, but they were negative and the doctors told me I had to wait. Then I had the third operation, I was in hospital for 10 days, and from that moment on I started to feel improvements. But I have always been optimistic, I never thought that I would no longer be able to race but only about when I would be able to return ”.
Have you already been on a motorcycle?
"No, only for the team photos, standing still, when it is moving under the leathers, it's not me. When the doctors allow me to do it, I will. The most important thing is that the bone consolidates, then I will have to continue with the rehabilitation, there are muscles that I have not trained since July. When I do my first race, for me it will be like starting with testing before the season. I have recovered mobility in the right arm, but the strength is low and the doctors told me not to use more than 2 or 3 kilos of weight for the exercises. I have more or less 20% of the normal strength ”.
How do you imagine your first Grand Prix?
“It will be impossible in one day to go back to being the Marc Marquez from before, so I say that my first goal is to have fun and then be fast. It will be a process to follow ”.
"The favourite for the title is Mir not me, right now it's not my war"
Do you feel pressure?
“I'm the one who puts the pressure on, setting goals. Honda and the sponsors have shown great respect towards me, they told me to take the time my body asks of me. I have a 4-year contract with Honda, so the goal is to win four titles, if that isn't possible this year then I'll try to win the other three".
Mir said that you remain the favourite…
“I'm pleased, but the favourites are the others, a lot of names come to mind and certainly Joan's, he is the champion and he has to defend the title. That's not my war right now, mine is getting back on the bike ”.