Speculation swirls amid MotoGP paddock talk of more serious Marc Marquez injury

There is growing MotoGP paddock speculation that the 'concussion' reason for Marc Marquez's absence in Portimao is disguising a more serious injury 

Marc Márquez - Repsol Honda

He may not be present in Portimao this weekend, but Marc Marquez’s name remains on everyone’s lips following his withdrawal from the Algarve MotoGP through injury.

Earlier in the week his Repsol Honda team communicated that he would sit out the penultimate round of the 2021 MotoGP World Championship after sustaining a ‘light concussion’ in an accident during training close to his home.

Confessing to still feeling unwell in the days after the incident, Marquez - winner of the last two grands prix at COTA and Misano - decided not to compete this weekend with Stefan Bradl stepping into his place.

While relatively little is known about the accident beyond the fact it happened while off-road training with Enduro World Champion Josep Garcia, the manner in which Repsol Honda is handling the absence has prompted questions.

As our sister publication Crash.net points out, the announcement from Repsol Honda wasn’t in line with previous communications of a similar nature, with no quote and no ‘thumbs up’ image from the man himself.

Moreover, Marquez’s social media channels have been silent, unusual given the frequency of updates he supplied while undergoing surgery and recovering from the arm injury that ruled him out of the 2020 MotoGP season.

HRC team boss Alberto Puig has moved to play down any speculation but offered little in the way of new information, which in turn has fanned the flames of conjecture.

"It was okay but he was not feeling so good, a little bit like dizzy. So we checked with the doctor and it was correct not to race if you are not 100%.”

As for whether Marquez will be present for the final round in Valencia next week, Puig was also promising little, saying a decision will be made early next week.

"So we are going to wait and next Monday, Tuesday we will check with the doctor and he will make a further evaluation [for Valencia]. If the doctors says he can and Marc is feeling better then of course [Marc will be at Valencia]."

Marquez's brother - LCR Honda rider Alex - was also unwilling to shed more light on his injury, in turn evidently avoiding the chance to clear up the speculation.

"Marc? No. I was not there. I was at home. My plan was a bit different for training. I had gym and running. He went with an off-road bike on a track five minutes from my home," said younger brother and LCR Honda rider Alex Marquez 

"Unfortunately, he cannot be here and I hope he can be fit for Valencia. It’s like this. We train everyday and the risk is always there. It was a normal day, he was with Josep Garcia."

Marquez's absence hasn't escaped rivals either with the ever-opinionated Aleix Espargaro giving his take. Though the Aprilia rider points out he is none the wiser, he nonetheless finds it odd that a rider renowned for wanting to race mere days after surgery and shrugging off some extreme high-speed offs has skipped a race because of feeling 'dizzy'.

"I don’t know. Nobody has information about his crash. The press release says a concussion. But we don’t know. Maybe he has a broken arm. We have no idea. We have to believe it’s a concussion.

"If it’s a head concussion it must be hard. If it wasn’t like this Marc would be here racing for sure. We know him in the paddock. But it’s difficult to judge. Every injury is different. If the crash was done in the last GP we’d know the type of crash.

"Anyway, he’s not here racing. I don’t know if concussion is the right word. I think it’s something bigger."