Marc Marquez is back on track ahead of upcoming GP of the Americas

Marc Marquez has returned to the race track today for the first time since his most recent diplopia episode was diagnosed after the Indonesian Grand Prix. 

Marc Marquez, CBR600RR, first test after Indonesia diplopia.

MARC Marquez has hit the track today (05 April 2022) for the first time since his huge Indonesian GP warm up high side which resulted in a new episode of diplopia. 

The previous diplopia problem Marquez suffered, at the end of 2021, saw him off the bike for three months. In this most recent case, the diagnosis was that this case is less severe than the one from the end of last season, and that is backed up by the significantly shorter period off the bike for Marquez. 

The Spaniard has been out on track with a Honda CBR600RR and while the conclusions from the test have not yet been disclosed, that he has been out at all this soon after the diagnosis is surely a positive sign.

It has been only just over two weeks since the Indonesian Grand Prix, so it is fair to say it is a remarkably shortened period away from the bike from Marquez compared to 2021, and it puts into the realm of possibility his attendance at this weekend’s Grand Prix of the Americas in Texas.

The Circuit of the Americas (COTA) is a special place for Marquez. He won his first premier class race there back in 2013, defeating then teammate Dani Pedrosa in a head-to-head in just his second top class race. 

Additionally, Marquez has won each of the Grands Prix of the Americas held since its inaugural race in 2013, with the exception of only the 2019 edition, when an engine braking glitch caused him to crash at turn 12 while leading comfortably. 

Last year’s Texan race saw Marquez win once again, ahead of Fabio Quartararo and Francesco Bagnaia, who completed the podium, and it was the first part of a back-to-back series of wins that saw Marquez also victorious at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix two weeks later in Misano. 

Whether Marquez will be in action this weekend remains to be seen, but it is certain that, if he is there, he will be the favourite. 

That is not to say that he will be unbeatable, though. It was proven by Pol Espargaro in Argentina that the significantly revised RC213V for 2022 is still far from perfect, as he slid out from podium contention with a crash at turn two.

Even still, Marquez’s record in America speaks for itself. Not only in Texas, but in the US as a whole, where that aforementioned 2019 COTA slip-up is still the only American race Marquez has not won in MotoGP; and before COTA 2019 Marquez’ unbeaten streak across all classes in the ‘States stretched back to the 2011 Indianapolis Grand Prix.

If Marquez is to return this weekend, it would come at a critical time in the championship. The Spaniard has only scored 11 points, but is only one point behind pre-season favourite Francesco Bagnaia; 24 points behind reigning World Champion Fabio Quartararo; and 34 behind current championship leader Aleix Espargaro. 

So, the title is definitely not out of reach at this point for Marquez, but that could change if he does not return soon; and if - when he does return - he does not return with a changed mindset.