MotoGP

Marc Marquez feeling 'worse than expected' after tentative return

Repsol Honda's Marc Marquez manages just 37 laps on the first day of MotoGP testing as he reveals hsi feeling on the bike is 'worse' than he expected

Marc Marquez says his recovery from his shoulder injury has been ‘worse than expected’ as he made a tentative return to MotoGP competition in pre-season testing at Sepang.

The six-time MotoGP World Champion underwent surgery the day after post-season testing had wrapped up in November in an effort to correct ongoing concerns about his shoulder in the wake of heavy accidents in Thailand and Malaysia.

A similar surgery to that of the previous year, albeit on the other shoulder, Marquez completed just 37 laps on the first day of MotoGP testing in Malaysia en route to the 12th quickest time, within a second of pace setter Fabio Quartararo.

However, he says his feeling on the Repsol Honda is giving him cause for concern, revealing he isn’t fit enough to complete a full race distance as it stands.

“Completely different [the recovery] compared to last year I had more pain but more power,” Marquez told Crash.net. “This year I have less pain but less power. I expected this already before coming here because one of the muscles that is more important in the shoulder is still not in perfect condition and I already expected this before riding the bike.

“When I rode the bike in the first run I felt worse than I expected. Especially the position on the bike – it was difficult to touch or use the elbow in the corner. Then step by step I started using it. I started the first run with good energy. But immediately when I stopped in the box – I went to 1m 59s but when I stopped I felt like I needed to slow down, to be step by step, be patient.

“Today the plan was to be in this range of 30-35 laps. Tomorrow we will try for 45. Then the next day we will see. I feel better than last year. The problem is that muscle takes time to activate. Just two weeks ago it was impossible to ride a bike. Then it started to activate a bit and that’s the reason I’m here today.

“It’s kind of a nerve that is not working in the correct way. It’s coming better and better. Then the muscle will come better and immediately I will feel better. All the muscles – biceps, triceps – are in a good way.”

Marc Marquez opens on mental toll of injury

Marquez went on to open up about the mental toll trying to get back to full fitness for a second consecutive winter has been on him.

“Yesterday my physio said to me 10 weeks, 92 sessions, 250 hours. It’s not a joke. Not a lie. It was from December 2, double sessions per day.

“I cancelled my holidays and everything to be ready for the first race in Qatar. This is the target. Normal surgery from four to six months – you can ask [Miguel] Oliveira and [Takaaki] Nakagami, who had surgery one month earlier than me – this is the target. But if you want to be ready you must keep focussed.”

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