Honda used Marquez body double for season launch

A photograph from Repsol Honda’s 2021 season launch

A body double stood in for Marc Marquez for the video elements of Repsol Honda’s MotoGP season launch.

The saga over the six-time premier class world champion’s broken right humerus continues with confirmation upon the launch that he will miss pre-season testing, which takes place this weekend and next week in Qatar.

It was therefore somewhat curious to seemingly see Marquez, and new team-mate Pol Espargaro, riding an RC213V around the former tyre factory where the presentation was shot.

As it turns out, Marquez was not on the bike, with a stunt double taking his place.

“I haven’t touched a bike,” said the Spaniard.

“In the presentation I was the one in the photos, but not the one in the video.

“When the bike moved, I could not; it is forbidden for me.

“For the first time yesterday [day before the launch] I touched a road bike, but it was very smooth, for half an hour.

“It was the date that the doctor told me and when they give me the OK, I do it.”

A frame from the riding sequence in which a body double took Marc Marquez’s place

Ironically, there has been conjecture about whether or not Marquez and Honda have been truthful about the circumstances leading up to his second of three operations on the broken arm.

While team manager Alberto Puig said that the titanium plate which was fitted during the first operation broke when the 28-year-old attempted to open a window/door, a prominent rider manager claimed in January that Honda was in fact looking into whether or not Marquez secretly got onto a bike.

Test rider Stefan Bradl is presently filling the breach left by the champion’s absence, although multiple rival teams have now expressed concerns about the supposed unfairness of the German’s dual role.

Bradl is set to be in action when the Shakedown Test commences tonight at Losail, before the first Official Test takes place on the following two days.

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