Marc Marquez faces race against time to be fit in time for 2020 MotoGP

MotoGP World Champion Marc Marquez gets set for a winter of recovery after going under the knife to correct his injured shoulder

Marc Marquez - Repsol Honda

Six-time MotoGP World Champion Marc Marquez is embarking on a winter of recovery after undergoing surgery on his troublesome shoulder just one day beyond the conclusion of 2019 track action in Spain.

The Spaniard, who dominated the 2019 MotoGP season, enjoyed an almost faultless campaign on race day but ultimately aggravated his shoulder in a series of crashes during the latter portion of the year, most notably a high-speed off in Buriram that hospitalised him and a vicious accident during qualifying in Malaysia.

When another low speed fall during post-season testing at Jerez resulted in a subluxation (dislocation) of the right shoulder due to an awkward landing, Marquez took the decision to undergo preventative surgery to avoid a potentially bigger consequence should he crash again in future.

As such, though the injury itself is less pronounced than twelve months ago when a similar surgery on his left shoulder left him in a battle for fitness before this year’s pre-season testing, he will now need to undergo a lengthy rehabilitation in order to recover.

“With his most successful premier class season to date finished, eight-time World Champion Marc Marquez elected to undergo surgery at the Hospital Universitari Dexeus-Quiron today, November 27. The operation was performed by Dr. Xavier Mir, Dr. Victor Marlet and Dr. Teresa Marlet, all part of ICATME (the Catalan Institute of Traumatology and Sports Medicine).

“After experiencing some discomfort with his right shoulder, and after his Monday crash at the Jerez Test, the Repsol Honda Team rider elected to have the operation as a preventative measure after medical consultation. The operation is similar to the one performed on his left shoulder at the end of 2018 but less aggressive in nature.

“Marquez will be discharged within the next 48 hours. He will then begin his recovery and winter training in preparation for the Sepang Test at home in Cervera.”

Marc Marquez on the back foot ahead of 2020 MotoGP season

To his credit, Marquez is demonstrating the determination and resolve that has made him champion to essentially scupper his short-term plans – a well-deserved holiday – to look at the bigger picture of his 2020 MotoGP title ambitions by not risking complications further on.

Make no mistake, Marquez has a frustrating few weeks ahead as he recovers. Honda believed him to be less than 50 per cent fit when he returned to testing action this year, while Takaaki Nakagami skipped the final three rounds of the 2019 season to give him the best chance of a full recovery before track action resumes in Sepang in February.

For now, there is nothing rivals can do get one over on Marquez beyond training harder in the gym over the Christmas period, but at the very least these bumps and bruises are a sure sign that the seemingly untouchable Spaniard is as fallible as anyone when things go wrong on the bike… and there were certainly more Honda-related crashes during post-season testing as the 2020 bikes came online.