Marc Marquez ‘out for 2 or 3 months’, 2020 MotoGP title hopes over

Repsol Honda reveals Marc Marquez's recovery could still amount to two or three months, all but confirming there will be a new MotoGP title winner in 2020.

Marc Marquez - Repsol Honda [1200]

Marc Marquez’s hopes of making it a seventh MotoGP World Championship title is now all-but over after his Repsol Honda team confirmed he faces a further ‘two or three months’ on the sidelines with his arm injury.

This weekend’s Styrian MotoGP is the fourth event Marquez has been forced to sit out – five if you include his DNF in the offending Jerez opener – but both he and Honda had previously intimated he’d begin along the road to recovery next time out in Misano, helped in part by the extended three-week break.

However, it transpires Marquez’s fractured arm – which has now required two operations, the first insert a titanium plate into the arm and another to fix it when it sustained its own damage – is not healing as quickly as originally hoped, so much so it could take another three months to target a return to racing.

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Coupled with the condensed 14-round season, though Marquez stops short of saying he won’t race again in 2020, he is almost certainly ceding the MotoGP crown he has held for the past five years.

Full statement from Repsol Honda [22/8/2020]

“Marc Marquez will continue recovering in the coming weeks. The MotoGP World Champion together with HRC, have consulted with and compared the opinions of a number of specialists in regard to the injury to the humerus of the right arm that Marc suffered on July 19 at the Spanish Grand Prix. As a result, all parties have decided to modify the planned recovery process.

“The objective of both Marquez and the Repsol Honda Team is to return to the World Championship when Marc’s arm has fully recovered from the serious injury that occurred in Jerez. It is estimated it will take between two to three months before Marc can return to the RC213V. HRC has not set a Grand Prix for the return of the reigning World Champion and will continue to report on the evolution of his recovery.

“Team Manager Alberto Puig: "There has been a lot of talk about Marc's recovery and the various deadlines, but from the first day after the second operation we have said that the only objective that exists is for him to be one hundred percent. We do not want to rush. Once Marc is in a position to return and compete at the level he knows, then we will think about the next objective."

2020 MotoGP season to crown a brand-new World Champion

While rivals have played down Marquez’s absence and shrugged off the impact it causes them directly, this new formal knowledge the Spaniard is ruling himself out of the a title fight he maintained such a strong grip on for the past few years, means the title fight takes on a very different look now.

Indeed, while riders are well versed in the tropes of ‘we focus on our own race, we don’t think about the championship yet’, this breaking news brings home the fact it won’t be Marquez raising the title for only the second time in the last eight years.

Even better (for fans of close racing at the very least) is the fact the title race is wide open right now, with no rider able to get a proper grasp on momentum from the opening four races. 

As they say it is too early too call it, but if the delayed-turned-intensely scheduled 2020 MotoGP was already proving enthralling enough, the official withdrawal of its dominant figure just lifts it to another level.