Marc Marquez to miss 2022 MotoGP races to have fourth right arm surgery in US

Eight-times Grand Prix World Champion Marc Marquez has confirmed he will be missing an indefinite period of MotoGP action to have surgery in the US.

Alberto Puig looks at Marc Marquez in Repsol Honda garage, 2022 Italian Grand Prix. - Gold and Goose

REPSOL Honda’s number one rider, six-times MotoGP World Champion Marc Marquez, will be missing an unspecified period of time to go to America for a fourth surgery on the troublesome right arm that was initially broken in a crash at Jerez in 2020. 

Marquez, who qualified 12th for tomorrow’s Italian Grand Prix, said in an exceptional press conference held after qualifying in Mugello earlier today (28 May 2022) that he would be going to Minnesota for the surgery, and that he is unsure when he will be back. 

“Since I had the first injury [with the arm] everything has been complicated and the infection was the worst thing,” said Marquez. “The doctors did an amazing job to take care of that and recover my bone.”

One of the characteristics of Marquez throughout his time in the World Championship is that he has been a rider who enjoys competing and riding. It can be possible to say that when you are winning, enjoying riding and competing is easy, but that is not the case. It takes just a glance at the last seven or eight years of American motocross to see that some of the most dominant riders the sport has seen in that time were forced to retire in their 20s because of being burnt out and not enjoying racing anymore. 

The same has been true for current KTM factory rider Cooper Webb, who has said this year that if he did not change something for 2022, he would have felt as though his only option was to retire. 

That is now the reality for Marquez. Not that he is burnt out from riding, but that riding around his injury, and riding uncomfortably, is taking away from his enjoyment of MotoGP. It is also important to remember that Marquez is trying to develop the new RC213V with HRC at the moment, and doing that while being so physically underprepared that he has to save energy throughout Friday and Saturday so he is ready for the race makes the process even more complicated and drawn out. The MotoGP calendar is also as long as it has ever been, at 21 (now that Finland is cancelled) races. 

“I don’t enjoy [riding now]. I have a lot of pain and loss of power, so I can’t ride like I want. I also start to injure my shoulder because I’m pushing the left arm too much [to compensate],” said Marquez.

There is also currently no timeline on Marquez’ return. In the press conference, he said, “I believe soon I will come back [after this surgery]. I don’t know exactly when, but now is the time to operate because the doctors say there is a clear problem and also that an operation can be done.”

When Marquez first broke his arm, it took eight months for him to return to racing, and when he did so it took another few months until he was back to something like his best. 2022 is yet another year that Marquez will be forced to discard, after 2020 and most of 2021 saw him either absent or operating below his maximum. That means that this surgery is aimed entirely at 2023, by which time there will be two years left on the four-year contract he signed with HRC to take him to the end of 2024 at Repsol Honda.