Marc Marquez credits 5x GP champ Mick Doohan for inspiring fightback to form

Marc Marquez reveals advice from Mick Doohan prior to the weekend inspired his return to the top step in the German MotoGP at the Sachsenring

Marc Marquez - Repsol Honda

Marc Marquez has revealed how advice from GP legend Mick Doohan played its part in inspiring his return to the top step of the podium in the German MotoGP, his first success since coming back from a lengthy injury time out.

With a winning record at the Sachsenring stretching some ten years - including Moto2 and 125GP - Marquez would normally have been considered a veritable shoo-in to win in 2021 again.

However, with his recovery from the arm injury that ruled him out of the 2020 season continuing to hamper him in 2021 and saddled with a Honda RC213V package that has lost ground to Ducati, Yamaha and KTM, it seemed Marquez’s incredible run of victories on German soil was destined to end.

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Nonetheless, Marquez’s experience told when it mattered with an aggressive start to the race earning him the lead before a critical push during a brief drizzly spell proved allowed him to establish an advantage that kept would ultimately prevent a charging Miguel Oliveira from catching before the flag.

His and Repsol Honda’s first win since Valencia 2019, Marquez’s success comes at a timely moment that eases pressure on the team amid evident frustrations with the development direction of the RC213V.

For Marquez though, the win - his 57th in MotoGP - tastes all the sweeter after the trials and tribulations and surgeries endured to get back to this point, not least after a run of three DNFs and ongoing talk he may never rediscover his best form. 

However, Marquez says that while he has largely blocked out comments from elsewhere, it was a phone call from Honda legend Mick Doohan that stuck with him, namely the Australian’s own fight back to win five GP titles after potentially career-ending injuries.

"When I was injured, always I feel like I will come back and I will come back strong,” he is quoted by “But since the first time I ride the MotoGP bike in Portimao, I say ‘okay, I am far, very far from my level.

"From that point it was very hard. The next races was even harder. It’s difficult but I just forget everything and focus on my personal and professional side. When I say forget everything; I mean extra comments, comments from outside. 

"I just listen to the people that want to help me, and I try to find something or some comments that helped me - which was a phone call from Mick Doohan. I met (with) him in Mugello and I know that he had a similar situation in 92 and 93. 

"I was 30 minutes in a phone call with him and I was just listening, he was speaking everything. He was explaining his situation, but was also like he was explaining my situation.

"It was the exact same problems like understanding the bike, not riding like you want to, stupid mistakes, stupid crashes, some races you will be fast, practice you will be slower and you don’t know why, and all the problems that I have this year - he explain and had in the past." 

Doohan suffered serious leg injuries in an accident during the 1992 Dutch TT at Assen, which together with medical complications led to the possibility of it being amputated. However, Doohan remarkably returned to racing later that year, preceding a rout of five titles between 1994 and 1998.