‘Explosion of emotions’ for Marquez

Marc Marquez post-race. Picture: Honda Racing Corporation

Marc Marquez experienced an “explosion of emotions” when he returned to his garage after finishing a MotoGP race for the first time since November 2019.

Marquez ended up seventh in the Portuguese Grand Prix having run as high as third in the early stages, an effort which came despite weakness due to his ongoing recovery from injury.

The six-time premier class world champion’s previous race start ended in disaster when he broke his right humerus in a tumble at Jerez in July 2020, a crash which led to three operations.

Having got through another race weekend at long last, Marquez was overcome with emotion in the Repsol Honda garage.

“I’m a person that likes to keep emotions inside, but when I arrived in the box with all my mechanics, I couldn’t control the emotions,” he recounted.

“It’s been a very long time since I dreamt of today, to finish a MotoGP race. It’s the biggest step in my rehabilitation, my recovery.

“To again feel what it’s like to be a MotoGP rider was my dream and it’s what I did today.

“So when I arrived in the box, of course I was tired and exhausted, but it was an explosion of emotions that I couldn’t control, but it was very nice.”

Marquez was in the thick of things for the first two laps at Portimao, including when he made contact with Joan Mir a day after their qualifying spat.

The #93 entry was, however, quickly shuffled back to ninth before regaining a couple of positions due to attrition ahead of it.

“Maybe the hardest thing was the first laps because I was not in my place,” explained Marquez.

“You know in school when you play football with the older guys, they overtake you where you want.

“So, in the first laps I didn’t feel in my place, I didn’t have the pace, I didn’t have control of the bike and then everybody started to overtake me.

“But then I was calm, didn’t fight and just found my place and as soon as I found my place I started to increase my rhythm step-by-step and I was able to do my personal best lap in the end of the race.

“In the end I felt better and I was trying to catch [Aleix] Espargaro again, but then suddenly my body said ‘Now it starts here’.

“The last six laps I just was sitting on the bike trying to finish the race, but the most important thing is to finish the race.

“And then if we check, to finish the race only 13 seconds behind [winner Fabio] Quartararo, this is something incredible.”

Next up is the Spanish Grand Prix, Round 4 of the season, on April 30-May 2.

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