It’s been a long two years of injury, pain, setback and suffering for perennial MotoGP world champion Marc Marquez. The Spanish rider, a six-time MotoGP world champion, missed almost the entire 2020 season as well as the start of the 2021 season because of a broken arm sustained 26 laps into the 2020 season-opening race.
The Marquez of old was back last week. He raced to victory in the German Grand Prix, his first victory since his accident. Clearly, going forward, the circuit will be back to the way it was. Those who participate in MotoGP betting will need to again include Marquez as a factor in all races and perhaps again as the man to beat in the sport.
Marquez, known in his hometown of Cervera, Spain as el tro de Cervera – English translation the Thunder of Cervera – is to Moto GP what Lewis Hamilton is to Formula 1 racing. He is the sport’s most dominant performer. Marquez won the MotoGP world title in 2013, 2014, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019.
That literally all came to a crashing halt in 2020’s season-opening race, the Spanish Grand Prix at Jerez. Pursuing Fabo Quartararo for the lead, Marquez fell. Thrown from the bike, Marquez rolled several times before coming to a stop on his knees in the gravel surrounding the outside of the track’s surface. He had fractured the humerus in his right arm.
“Marc Marques” by EFE is licensed under CC BY 3.0
The Long Road Back
Just two days after the accident, Marquez underwent surgery on the arm at Barcelona’s Dexeus Hospital. The surgeons inserted a titanium plate and several screws to ensure that the fracture would heal properly. The doctors were also able to confirm there was no damage done to the radial nerve as a result of the accident.
Marquez tried to return to racing again in Jerez at the Andalucia GP, a mere few days following surgery on his arm. He participated in practice, but declared that there was too much pain in his arm and he withdrew from the race. He wouldn’t race again in 2020.
However, just 13 days later, a second surgery was performed on the injured arm. In his attempt to race at Jerez in the second event of the season, Marquez had turned 28 laps of the track during practice within days of the original surgery. It was later discovered that the metal plate in his arm had broken due to stress.
In December, a third surgery was required to graft bone from his hip into his arm. It was during this surgery that doctors discovered an infection had developed in the fracture in Marquez’s arm, further delaying the recovery process.
The roller coaster ride he endured during his recuperation had the effect of tempering Marquez’s expectations once he was finally able to return to the track.
“When I got back on the motorbike for the first time in Portimao, I was excited, to believe that things would go well,” Marquez told La Prensa Latina Media. “I felt the same in Jerez. But that excitement meant frustration. Being hopeful is one thing, reality is another.
“Marc Marques” by Reuters is licensed under CC BY 3.0
“You can have hope, but you also need to be clear about how far you can go. You should approach things with optimism while being realistic.”
He still deals with the after effects of his injury. His right shoulder isn’t up to 100 percent strength yet.
“There are irritations, pains,” Marquez said. “First one arises, then another. An inflammation here, and inflammation there.
“It’s forced me to put my excitement to one side and concentrate on the moment, accept what I’m going through and draw different motivations from it.”
German Win Fortifies Belief
The victory in Germany has provided Marquez with the emotional boost that his confidence required to know that he could come all the way back.
“This victory makes up for the suffering,” Marquez told Autosport. “It’s not that it’s all over here, but after going through such a bad time for so long you see that things are coming, that it’s not impossible, it’s extra motivation.
“I must admit that both myself and Honda were in reserve and we have filled the tank, it will give us a boost for the next races.”