During this’s morning Honda video presentation, the eight-time champion was quick to refer to the news we’ve all been waiting for, or rather his long-awaited return to the track. Essentially, he doesn’t know when this will be and spoke about his ongoing recovery following a third operation on his arm, but also the fact that’s it’s still an unknown as to when he will be able to ride again.

The arm infection

The Spanish champion provides no good news on the day Honda has unveiled its 2021 RC213V. Marc is keeping a low profile and doesn’t know when he’ll be back on track: “I can say that I won’t be at the tests in Qatar - he begins - As for the rest, I don’t know. There’s been a lot of talk about my physical condition and the fact the radial nerve might be affected, but I can say that the radial nerve is undamaged. What has happened though is that, after the second operation, something wasn’t right, my recovery was slow and in the end we found I had a pseudoarthritis with a bone infection. The infection was sneaky because there were no signs of it in the initial tests. I was doing all kinds of examinations and they couldn’t see it. It was a weak infection which also meant that the bone was not strengthening”.

Marc also refers to what Doctor Costa had to say about a nail perhaps being more useful than a plate in the Spaniard’s particular case: “Inserting a nail wouldn’t have been possible - he explains - because I’d already had surgery on my shoulder and the tendon wasn’t in good shape”.

Current training

When journalists ask Marc about his current training programme, he explains that he has been able to intensify his physical activity, even lifting some weights: “I’m not telling you what I lift with my healthy arm - he says jokingly - but with the injured one I’m lifting just a few kilos, one or two, no more. I don’t want to force it. I’m also working on shoulder mobility with a physio, I haven’t been able to move it well for seven months so it’ll take a while”.

Step by step towards a return

As for the fact he won’t be in Qatar: “I won’t be at the tests – he adds – this is what my doctor has said and I don’t feel comfortable going. In mid-March I’ll have another check-up and the priority is to see whether the bone has strengthened. Then we’ll see what to do next; the doctor will tell me what I can and can’t do. My goal for now is to move forward step by step. If it’s not the first race, it might be the second, or the third. When I come back to the track I hope to be the Marc Marquez of old, but talking with the doctors I’ve been sure to make one thing clear. I only want them to give me the OK when my arm is ready for another crash. I can’t imagine getting back on a MotoGP bike with the idea of not being able to crash because my arm couldn’t cope with it. If I return, it will be because my style is the same as ever, although perhaps not at first”.

“I’ve learned a lot in recent months”

Lastly, the Honda rider touched on the emotional difficulties of recent months: “It’s been a tough time, particularly in September and October - he concludes - I didn’t have good feeling with my arm and I didn’t understand why, and I was in pain and didn’t understand why. I’ve learned one important thing from all this, or rather that there are many races but I only have one body. Sometimes I would forget that, but this period has made me more aware. I’m pleased to have had my brother Alex and my family around me, as it hasn’t been at all easy”.

Translated by Heather Watson

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