MotoGP champion Marc Marquez will unexpectedly compete in this weekend’s Andalucia Grand Prix after passing a medical check-up on Thursday just 48 hours after he underwent surgery on a broken arm.
The Spaniard’s astonishing feat in defying medical odds which had forecast his earliest return as next month was announced by his Honda team.
“Fit to ride,” Honda tweeted, alongside a photo of the Spaniard giving the thumbs up riding pillion on a scooter after his medical at the Jerez circuit.
The six-time elite world champion was not expected to recover in time until the Czech Grand Prix in August.
But the 27-year-old’s single-mindedness in wanting to deny his rivals a chance to steal an early march in the coronavirus-shortened season’s title race looks to have paid off.
Although Honda later said his prospects of being on Sunday’s grid would hinge on how he came through Saturday’s practices and qualifying.
“Originally, clearly Honda’s position was not to run at this race and try to run in Brno,” said Honda boss Alberto Puig.
“But after what we saw and heard from Marc and the doctors, who declared him fit, we came to an understanding.
“He will try on Saturday and depending on how he is feeling he will try to race but we asked him to check on Saturday first to really understand if he’s capable of doing the distance.”
Puig added that “from last Sunday to today things have gone very quickly and frankly we are surprised”.
News of his intention to try and ride broke earlier Thursday when Honda announced that “after a successful operation on Tuesday, @MarcMarquez93 is heading back to Jerez”, the scene of his crash in last Sunday’s opening Spanish Grand Prix.
The sport’s official website MotoGP.com lauded his effort as “superhuman”. Marquez had fallen heavily after losing control of his bike and sliding across gravel and was taken away from the track in an ambulance.
The surgery was carried out in a hospital in Barcelona where he had a titanium plate fitted into his right arm.
His lightning return to the saddle in a bid not miss an opportunity to bolster his chances in the title race will come as bad news for those chasing the crown he won in 2013, 2014, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019.
If he clinches a seventh title he will draw level with Valentino Rossi, the Italian motorcycling legend who defied medical predictions himself when competing in the 2017 Aragon Grand Prix 19 days after breaking his leg.
But former world champion Jorge Lorenzo holds the bragging rights on remarkable returns from injury, lining up in the 2013 Assen Grand Prix a mere two days after breaking his collarbone.
With only 13 confirmed races in this compacted campaign Marquez was desperate not to fall too far behind in the championship with the nascent standings led by Yamaha’s French rider Fabio Quartararo who showed his ambitions by taking his maiden MotoGP victory in the delayed curtain-raiser last weekend. -AFP