"Marquez saw death but wanted to ride again" – Suppo on Mugello crash

Livio Suppo reveals Marc Marquez wanted to waste no time getting back on the Honda just minutes after crashing at 250km/h at Mugello

Marc Marquez - Repsol Honda

Marc Marquez has had his fair share of huge crashes during an otherwise stellar MotoGP career but while he has often knocked himself down in some spectacular ways, the man has a knack for getting back up and cracking on.

Not only that, but his ability to shrug off incidents almost immediately and bounce back just as quickly has become part of an armoury that makes rivals wonder what exactly it will take to defeat the Spaniard.

While we all held our collective breath when he launched himself spectacularly off the bike in Thailand during free practice – a 26G incident that event sent him to hospital - the man himself carried on as if nothing had happened as he swept to victory two days later to secure a sixth MotoGP title.

However, of all Marquez’s crashes over the years it is his heart-stopping smash during practice for the Italian Grand Prix in 2013, when he got it very wrong coming down into turn one in Mugello, that arguably ranks as his most death-defying.

Coming at the end of a long, slightly downhill straight that has become the scene for several top speed records over the years, Marquez veers too far left under braking and finds himself on the kerb and over the grass.

Unable to get the bike stopped, Marquez throws himself off it at around 250km/h, sending both himself and the bike careering off track. The Spaniard would later say he did so to avoid the wall he was nonetheless only inches from striking as he barrel-rolled into the gravel.

Clambering himself up off the bike, Marquez makes a signal that many believed to be a sign that he was OK. However, as ex-Honda boss Livio Suppo reveals, he was instead trying to wave back to the box that he wanted his second bike to be prepared so he could get straight back out there.

“At Mugello 2013, when he fell in a straight line at more than 250km/h, I remember that he raised an arm after his fall and I thought he wanted to make a sign to reassure his parents, to make them understand that it was fine,” he told AS. 

“However, when he returned to the box, he told me that he had raised his arm to instruct us to prepare the second motorcycle. He had seen death in front, he was lying on the gravel and he thought only of returning immediately to the motorbike… That’s Marc!”

Despite his immense success since joining the MotoGP ranks in 2013, Marquez has regularly been close to the top of the table when it comes to crashes over a season. In fact, despite finishing first and second in all but one race in 2019, Marquez suffered 14 crashes on race weekends in 2019 behind only Johann Zarco, Jack Miller and Pecco Bagnaia.

Marquez’s reasoning has always been to find – and occasionally – exceed the limit when it matters less during free practice in order to find a comfort zone that remains rapid in the race. However, it isn’t a fool-proof solution as he has found in recent months after his crash in Thailand left him with a shoulder injury that required surgery over the winter.