Marc Marquez thought he had ended his ordeal with the fourth and final operation on his right arm, which he injured in Jerez in 2020. Instead, 2023 proved to be another year of suffering for the Spanish champion, as he grapples with what can be considered one of the most delicate moments of his career.
This was demonstrated by the attitude the rider from Cervera adopted at Silverstone, as he decided to minimize risks and collect data, like any other tester, rather than risk his own safety again on the Honda RC213V, with which he was no longer able to score points in the Mugello Sprint Race. Marc spoke about this in an interview with BBC Sport, where he called this first part of the season the “most difficult” moment of his life in sports.
“The reality is that we’re not ready to win right now. For me, for the bike, for many reasons,” Marc admitted. “My whole career has been very easy, and it has always been all simple. I’ve had many victories and won eight World Championships, and then my nightmare began. It has been three years of great suffering. I wouldn’t be lying if I said it was time to say ‘maybe it’s time to end my career’, but that’s not the kind of decision you can make overnight.”
Retirement is like a spectre that has returned to haunt Marc in these first nine troubled races of the year, in which the 30-year-old rider has never managed to score points in the Sunday Grand Prixs, slowed down by new injuries and the poor competitiveness of his Honda.
“Some people around me say it’s time to stop, but most say to try to keep going, and that’s what I’m doing. The passion is there, the motivation is there, and I have to find a way to have fun on the track. That’s the most important thing,” the eight-time World Champion said. “I feel ready to fight to win but, for some reason, I’m not able to do so. I’ve had many falls and other injuries. It’s difficult from a mental point of view, but I’m experiencing my best moment on a personal level, and this compensates a little.”
The crisis experienced by Honda had heavy repercussions on the Spanish rider’s competitive season, to the extent that he was convinced he wanted to change his mentality. However, this hasn’t, in any way, affected Marc’s desire to race and his warrior spirit, which he aims to build on in the next championship.
“Every year, I start the season fighting for the title. It doesn’t matter if it’s the ninth or the first World Championship, I’ll always fight the same way,” he said. “We can’t think about the championship now. I was fast at Le Mans, I was fighting for second place, but I fell. At Mugello, I was in the top five, but I fell again. We’re risking too much.We’re not ready to be there. We have speed, but we have to be able to be fast in a simpler way. The MotoGP is constantly evolving. You have to always be there and try to improve as much as the other constructors and the other riders, and that’s exactly what I want to do in this second part of the season. I hope to think about the championship again next year. We have the spirit.”