On the back of Marc Marquez’s press conference following the 2021 Repsol Honda team presentation, we had a chat with a person who knows the rider very well and has worked in close contact with him, a certain Livio Suppo. The former manager comments: “As for his return, Marc has said the most sensible thing he could. Or rather, he doesn’t intend to return until he’s fit enough to do so”.
Medical certainty is needed
It remains to be seen when we’ll see the number 93 bike back on track: “No one knows. I hope, as I did prior to Jerez, that he doesn’t do anything foolish. Unfortunately, my hopes were dashed on that occasion”. Things seem different now and Marquez himself ensures us that he won’t race until he can crash without any worry. Suppo confirms: “This time, the doctor will want to be 100% sure before giving him the OK. I imagine they’ll take the time they need”.
Despite Marc’s long absence from the track, Suppo doesn’t believe the injury will hold him back: “If he doesn’t have any arm mobility issues and can get back to 100% fitness, then I think he’ll soon be back riding the way he always has. Perhaps taking a few less risks, but that doesn’t mean he’ll be any less fast. Those that have the killer instinct will always have it”.
There is still a great deal of uncertainty but the Italian is ready to bet on his former rider: “If the number of races equates to that of a traditional championship, like 18 or so, and he were to miss four, and if his rivals share the points between them like last year, then he could still beat them. Just as he would have done if he’d returned in 2020”.
During these long and difficult months, it might have been easy to consider retirement, but Suppo doesn’t think the eight-time champ gave it a moment’s thought: “I hope not. That would mean things were worse than we thought”.
Translated by Heather Watson