Honda awaiting Marquez injury check-up at Christmas
Tuesday 23rd November, 2021 - 9:20am
Honda will “make decisions” after Marc Marquez has another check-up on his injured eye at Christmas time, says Alberto Puig.
Marquez missed the last two rounds of the 2021 MotoGP season, and the post-season test, after a training crash which was said initially to have left him with concussion.
Ahead of the very last round of the year, the Repsol Honda Team advised that he was continuing to suffer eye problems, specifically diplopia (double vision) and paralysis of the same nerve which he injured in 2011.
“The important thing is how he is,” said Puig at the post-season test at Jerez.
“And he is more or less the same as we explained [in Portimao and Valencia].
“He needs some time to rest, recover and see if all this area around the eye is getting less swollen, coming down and becoming calmer. Then we will see.
“Around Christmas time, we will have another check with the doctor and we will see what the situation is. Then we will probably make decisions on what the possibilities are.
“Of course, he’s not happy about not being here [post-season test].
“At the same time, he understands that what he needs now is to be resting and to be patient, and this is the situation.”
The latest injury is yet another setback not just for Marquez but also Honda.
The Spaniard broke his right humerus in a heavy crash in the first race of 2020 which, aside from a quickly aborted comeback attempt on the following weekend, was his last involvement in that MotoGP season.
The injury, and botched recovery, also kept him out of the first two rounds of 2021, and he was physically compromised all year.
While the six-time premier class champion still managed to win three races in the just-completed campaign, he was effectively ruled out of title contention for the first quarter of an unusually long, four-year contract with Honda.
Now, the second year is also under threat, at a time when the rest of the serious talent is locked up with other manufacturers.
However, the Japanese marque is prepared to “wait” for Marquez, according to comments from Puig at the Valencia round which closed out the season.
“Our position is, I mean, unfortunately, these things happen,” he said.
“And when these things happen, I mean, there’s nothing we can do as a factory – just wait – and this is what Honda is going to do.
“I mean, we understand the value of this rider, his potential, and I think it’s nothing that we have to try to explain, Marc’s skill.
“So, Honda will keep on working, trying to find a bike for next year and when the time comes, when he’s ready, we will give him the bike that we think is our best selection of all the parts and all the info we collect from the other riders.
“So, there’s nothing special we are going to do but wait until Marc is back and fit.”
Lead Honda test rider Stefan Bradl has filled in for Marquez at every round at which #93 was not entered in 2020 and 2021, save for the most recent one.
At Valencia this month, the factory team fielded only Pol Espargaro, although it was left with no starters for the race after #44 injured himself in a practice crash.