Having once again fought through adversity, the HRC star is aiming to rediscover his title-winning form
October 6th, 2019, at Chang International Circuit, Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) lifted his eighth world title – sixth in MotoGP™ – after an enthralling head-to-head battle with a young upstart by the name of Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP™) at the Thai GP. El Diablo put up a hell of a fight as a rookie, but he was up against a rider who was operating on a different plane that year to everyone else, accumulating a record 420 points during the campaign.
Back to business as Marquez aims to make new RC213V his own
In the two seasons since then, the number 93 has had a horrid time of things, with injury after injury keeping him away from the track. In 2020, he fractured his humerus in Jerez at the beginning of the season and ruled him out of action for the remainder of the campaign. 12 months later, Marquez was back on track in Portimao, breaking down in the aftermath after a long and tumultuous journey back to the bike. Having made his comeback, it got even better as he retained his King of the Ring crown at Sachsenring before heading into the summer break.
After a few weeks rest, it was looking like the Marc Marquez of old was back. There was P2 in Aragon after a titanic battle against Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo Team) before back-to-back wins came at COTA and Misano. Just when things were falling into place for him, he was once again deserted by lady luck. A training crash left him with a concussion and another episode of diplopia, which he had suffered back in 2011.
MotoGP™ Stories: 265 days later
Facing into another spell on the sidelines, Marquez had become accustomed to adversity and managed to go through a rigorous off-season schedule to get himself fit and ready for the pre-season Tests at Sepang and Mandalika. Now, he is fighting fit and on a revamped RC213V as he targets World Championship success with Honda.
Marquez’ momentum with the new bike should be matched by a step forward from the rest of the Honda riders. Without going any further, the eight-time Champion's team-mate, Pol Espargaro, brought the curtain down on the pre-season as the fastest rider at the brand new Pertamina Mandalika Circuit. The number 44 has found a better feeling with the increased rear grip of the new bike and his teammate didn’t hesitate to include the Granollers rider in the list of riders aspiring for title glory
Marquez: "Quartararo and Bagnaia will be very, very fast"
At the same time, the LCR Honda duo of Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda Idemitsu) and Marc's brother Alex Márquez (LCR Honda Castrol) have also drawn positive conclusions from the new RC213V. Indeed, the entire package seems to be coming together nicely in the Honda garages.
Victory is built on sacrifices, and Marquez knows this better than anyone; "I've made a big sacrifice, which is that I'm moving to Madrid for the whole of 2022 for this, to put all my heart into it. I trust them. They will keep my shoulder fresh all season and I'm going all out. I love my Cervera very much and I have lived there all my life, but we are coming here, to continue with the same lifestyle, but with this group of doctors, to fight for a World Championship again, to go for the ninth," he said at the premiere of MotoGP™ Unlimited in Madrid on Wednesday.
MotoGP™ Stories: A win 581 days in the making
That journey for a ninth Championship crown, which would equal Valentino Rossi’s record, starts on March 6th, when he will line up under the Lusail lights for the first time since his epic battle with Andrea Dovizioso in 2019. The MotoGP™ landscape has changed significantly since then, with two new World Champions entering the scene – Quartararo and Joan Mir (Team Suzuki Ecstar). The field is about as competitive as it’s ever been, with every factory posing race-winning threats, but you can never discount Marc Marquez.
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