Marc Marquez to miss 2023 Argentinian MotoGP

The Repsol Honda Team has announced that Marc Marquez will miss this weekend's MotoGP Argentinian Grand Prix, following his crash in Portugal.

Marc Marquez, 2023 MotoGP Portuguese Grand Prix. - Gold and Goose

Marc Marquez will miss this weekend’s Argentinian Grand Prix following surgery to a broken metacarpal in his right hand.

Marquez returned to Spain on Sunday following MotoGP’s 2023 season-opening Portuguese Grand Prix to have a suspected fracture of the first metacarpal in his right hand assessed. The assessment confirmed a “displaced intraarticular fracture of the base of the first metacarpal of the thumb of the right hand,” a Repsol Honda press release issued on the morning of Monday 27 March 2023 reads. 

Following the diagnosis, Marquez had surgery on the fractured metacarpal, and as a result will miss this weekend’s upcoming Argentinian Grand Prix, the second event of the season for MotoGP.

This confirms that Marquez will have not scored in three of the first four races of the 2023 MotoGP season by the end of next weekend. Considering the strong start to the season for Ducati’s reigning MotoGP World Champion, Francesco Bagnaia, who won both races in Portimao and has a maximum 37 points from the first weekend of the season, a title challenge for Honda and eight-times World Champion Marquez is already seeming an uphill fight.

If there is any benefit for Marquez of missing Argentina, it is that he will not have to serve the double-long-lap penalty he was awarded by the FIM MotoGP Stewards after Sunday’s Portuguese Grand Prix for the incident which left him with the broken metacarpal. The reason for not having to serve the penalty is that the penalty notice, which notified Marquez of the double-long-lap penalty, specified that it will be served in the next Grand Prix, meaning the Sunday race, in Argentina. Since Marquez will not race until the Grand Prix of the Americas, at the earliest, he has effectively escaped punishment for the incident in Portimao thanks to an oversight from the people who handed him the penalty. 

That incident ruined the Grand Prix for two riders, aside from Marquez, namely Jorge Martin and Miguel Oliveira, into whom Marquez careered after locking the front tyre under braking for turn three on the third lap of the 25-lap race. 

Marquez came out of the incident in the worst shape. Martin was able to continue the race, although he crashed out later on, and Oliveira somehow managed to leave Portimao with ‘only’ a leg contusion. Considering the energy that was involved in the crash, and Oliveira’s obliviousness to the arrival of Marquez’ front tyre into his back, it was quite the escape, and the Portuguese should be lining up in Argentina this weekend. 

The anticipated length of Marquez’ absence from MotoGP means it is likely he will not be replaced by Repsol Honda, who will be represented by only Joan Mir in Argentina, in what will be Mir’s second race with the team.

UPDATE (28 March 2023): Marc Marquez' penalty has now been rewritten and re-applied, meaning that Marquez will have to serve it at the next MotoGP race at which he is fit, which is likely to be the Grand Prix of the Americas in April.

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