Marquez has suffered new diplopia episode after Indonesia warm up crash

The eight-times World Champion has suffered a new episode of diplopia after the Indonesian Grand Prix.

Marc Marquez, Indonesia MotoGP 2022.

MARC Marquez, the Repsol Honda Team has announced, has suffered a second episode of diplopia after arriving back in Spain following the Indonesian round of the 2022 MotoGP World Championship last weekend. 

Marquez’ diplopia issues first arrived back in 2011 when he crashed heavily in practice at the Malaysian Grand Prix in Sepang. The condition forced him to miss the final races of the 2011 Moto2 season, which cost him the title which instead went to Stefan Bradl. 

In 2021, Marquez’ diplopia issues returned in the final part of the season, which forced him to miss the last races of the year. Marquez returned to a bike for the first time this January at a private motocross track in Spain. The Spaniard made good progress and was able to return to MotoGP action in preseason testing with no issues regarding his vision. 

For the Indonesian Grand Prix, a different tyre construction - a harder tyre last used in 2019 designed to better deal with high temperatures and loads - was introduced by Michelin to combat some of the worries they had about the standard 2022-spec rear tyre after the preseason test at Mandalika back in February. 

The harder construction meant less rear grip, and for Honda that proved to be a difficult situation to manage. Their bike is revolutionised for 2022, meaning that they have few data with it, and that in turn means that it is difficult to adapt the bike quickly to new scenarios. 

Both Marquez and Repsol Honda teammate Pol Espargaro failed to make Q2, and Marquez crashed three times across Friday and Saturday. A fourth crash of the weekend - a monster high side at turn seven on Sunday morning - ultimately ruled him out of action for the race due to concussion. Now, having returned to Spain, it has been confirmed that Marquez’ diplopia has returned. 

The Warm Up high-side was not Marquez' first on a 'heat dissipation' tyre from Michelin. He also had a major crash which sent him to hospital in practice for the 2019 Thai Grand Prix. Later that weekend he would wn his eighth and most-recent World Championship. This time, the outcome has been different.

In a statement, the Repsol Honda Team says, “During the journey back to Spain, Marc Marquez began to experience discomfort with his vision and upon his arrival back in Barcelona on Monday, he had an emergency visit to the Hospital Clínic de Barcelona with his trusted ophthalmologist, Dr. Sanchez Dalmau, who after examination confirmed a relapse in the diplopia that the rider suffered last November.”
The statement continued, “This morning, the Spanish rider visited his medical team, led by Dr. Samuel Antuña, at the Ruber Internacional Hospital in Madrid, where Marquez underwent a general medical check-up to evaluate all the bruises caused by the crash and a brain MRI. This has reconfirmed that he did not suffer any other injuries.”

Dr. Sanchez Dalmau said, “The neuro-ophthalmological evaluation carried out on Marc Marquez on Monday after the head injury that occurred at the Indonesian Grand Prix, shows a new episode of diplopia caused by a recurrence of paralysis of the fourth right nerve, with less involvement than the one that occurred in the injury in November 2021. After this examination, it was initially decided to follow a conservative treatment with periodic medical tests. Next week, Marc Márquez will undergo a new check-up to evaluate the evolution of the injury and to predict the estimated recovery period to return to competition.”

After the broken arm of 2020, that also majorly affected his 2021 season, and the dipopia episode of 2021, this is the third major health setback Marquez has faced in the last 21 months or so. 

It now seems likely that Marquez will miss the Argentinian Grand Prix scheduled for 1-3 April 2022. When exactly he will return to action, and indeed if he will return to action at all, is also unclear.