Marc Marquez out of Valencia MotoGP, reveals worrying return of unusual injury

Marc Marquez won't compete in the final round of the 2021 MotoGP season in Valencia after confirming the return of an eye injury sustained in 2011

Marc Marquez - Repsol Honda 2021

The 2021 MotoGP World Championship is officially over for Marc Marquez after it was confirmed he will miss the season-ending Valencia MotoGP, as well as the traditional post-season tests in the days afterwards.

The Spaniard, under the advice of doctors, chose to sit out the Algarve MotoGP over the weekend after suffering a ‘slight concussion’ in an accident during off-road training in the run up to the Portimao event.

With Honda’s evasive response and Marquez’s silence raising speculation his concerns may be more serious, the six-time MotoGP World Champion has now confirmed the incident has aggravated an arm injury.

However, more concerning for him is the return of an eye injury from almost a decade ago, one that he feared would have serious ramifications for his racing career before reaching MotoGP.

Marquez suffered an unusual injury to his eye during the Malaysian Moto2 race in 2011, forcing him out of the final two events to cede the title to Stefan Bradl. This most recent incident has resulted in the return of diplopia - a form of cloudy double vision - which it is believed has been brought on as a result of shock. 

Back in 2011, the condition eventually improved despite an uneasy period in which Marquez feared he wouldn’t race again, and he is hoping a similar occurrence takes place now. Even after his season-ending arm injury in 2020, Marquez still regards his eye injury as his most serious to date.

“The Repsol Honda Team rider will not participate in the Valencia Grand Prix this coming weekend, nor in the IRTA Jerez Test scheduled for November 18 and 19.

“After Marc Marquez underwent a medical examination at the Dexeus Clinic in Barcelona last Tuesday, in which he was evaluated after a fall while practicing off-road, the rider has been resting all week at his home in Cervera.

“During these days of rest, Marc has continued to feel unwell and has suffered from vision problems, which is why this Monday he was visited by the ophthalmologist Dr. Sánchez Dalmau at the Hospital Clínic de Barcelona, who examined him and performed the tests, which detected a new episode of diplopia

A statement from Doctor Sanchez Dalmau also said: “The examination carried out on Marc Marquez today after the accident that occurred has confirmed that the rider has diplopia and has revealed a paralysis of the fourth right nerve with involvement of the right superior oblique muscle. A conservative treatment with periodic updates has been chosen to follow with the clinical evolution. This fourth right nerve is the one that was already injured in 2011.”

‘These are hard moments’ - MotoGP Champ Marc Marquez

Breaking his silence on Instagram to describe this as a ‘hard moment’, one can feel for Marquez for this injury, not least because of the unusual nature of the injury sustained away from a race weekend following such an arduous - and crash-strewn - return to form over the past two seasons.

Moreover, it means for the fourth year in succession Marquez is carrying an injury into the off-season having undergone surgery on each shoulder in 2018 and 2019, before his 2020 injury lingered on into 2021.

“These are hard moments, it seems that when it rains, it pours. After visiting Dr. Sánchez Dalmau, a new episode of diplopia (double vision) was confirmed like 2011. We need patience but if I have learned one thing it's to face adversity with positivity. Thanks for your support!”

Stefan Bradl will once again fill the slot vacated by Marquez in the Repsol Honda team for the final round in Valencia this weekend.