Marc Marquez is, once again, forced to explain his difficulties and find the words for a crisis that, this time, involves not only himself, because of an injury, but all of Honda. He won’t be racing in Assen and, less than two hours before the start of the race, he talked about why he won’t be there. “On Tuesday, in Madrid, I underwent thorough examinations after my injuries at the Sachsenring,” he began. “But it’s sometimes difficult to understand if a rib is completely broken or not. In the past few days, it hurt a bit. But after the sprint race, the situation got worse. Last night, around eight o’clock, the pain increased, and I couldn’t sleep. This morning, I went to the medical center to tell them that I wouldn’t be able to race. They performed other tests and saw that the fracture opened, just a few millimeters. Now I have a month and a half to recuperate both physically and mentally.”
How hard is it to finish the last GP this way, before the summer break?
“At the Sachsenring, I finished the weekend with a highside. Here, managing to ride, and being at eight tenths, one second from the best. That gives me more confidence.”
There are those who say you could be leaving Honda at the end of the year, even if you have a contract for 2024.
“When you’re so low, you don’t think about the future, you think about rebuilding yourself. I’m in the most difficult moment of my career but, fortunately, in the best one as far as my personal life is concerned. The people near me help me keep believing in it. They’re saving me. Now I need to relax to start over again at Silverstone, with the same commitment as before, but with a different approach.”
Could you consider racing for an unofficial team?
“I’ve always been taught not to make certain decisions when you’re hot. Now I have to rest, reflect, talk to the people who are close to me and then get back to racing. Certainly, not aiming for the top positions, because I know I’d hit a wall. I’m a fighter, and I’ll continue to push. I haven’t changed. Even in the future, I’ll give it my all, no matter in what position, in what team, or what colors I’ll have.”
Does the Honda seem to grope in the dark?
“I can’t hide reality. In recent years, many riders have passed through. From Pedrosa to Lorenzo, from my brother to Pol and Mir, and no one has achieved the desired results. We have to understand why, and it’s just one. After the winter tests, I had a good feeling from my body, and I hid the truth. I took risks and I fell many times. Now I just need to relax.”
You said you’d change your approach from Silverstone.
“As a rider, I always want to give one-hundred percent on the track. I also did it coming here in Assen. But it’s been since 2020 that none of the Honda riders are getting the results they want. We’ll have to face the races in a different way, without thinking we can win or be in the top ten.”
Puig hinted that communication between Europe and Japan is lacking.
“It’s a sensitive issue, which I don’t have to worry about as a rider. I go to meetings and give my comments to improve the project. Yesterday, I used a bike identical to that in Portimão, because the innovations they brought didn’t work. That being said, it’s others who make certain decisions. Not everything is your own hands.”