Six-time MotoGP champion Marc Marquez insists he doesn’t blame any individual for the complications to his fractured right arm that have kept him sidelined for the last seven months.
Instead, the Repsol Honda star emphasised that it was ultimately his fateful decision to attempt the early comeback, just days after the fracture had been plated following his accident in last July’s Jerez season-opener.
Although the comeback attempt lasted less than a day, the decision to ride, which was supported by medical advice and having passed the necessary fitness tests, contributed heavily to the stress accumulation that caused the plate to fail (while opening a large window) the following week.
But the bone failed to heal after second plate was fitted, requiring a third surgery – and bone graft – to be carried out by a different surgical team in December. Infection was also discovered during the eight-hour operation, the cause of his healing problems.
“In the end it was a decision of everybody. When we won a title, we always speak about team and the people around me. When we do a mistake, we must speak about everything,” Marquez said of apportioning blame for the arm problems that could well have ruled him out of the 2020 and 2021 MotoGP titles.
“Of course, the last decision is mine. But when me, Honda and my team receive a good feeling from the doctors, then of course you try. You know how riders are. If they say you can try, then they try. I felt I was able to try, but what I felt was not what my body needed.”
The 28-year-old, who fought back from major shoulder surgery ahead of the 2019 and 2020 seasons, added: “I don’t want to push the doctors. I mean, we took many, many decisions and we took many, many risks in the past with other injuries. Sometimes when it goes in a good way we say it was a miracle, something that wasn’t human.
“This is another experience for me in my personal side for the future. Inside the track I will take the same risks, but I learned a few things. One of them is that it’s not the most important thing to come back as soon as possible. We did a mistake to come back in Jerez. We must accept that mistake.
“It was a consequence of many things. But in the end the last decision was mine. I felt that I was able to do it. But I learned from that situation for the future. Luckily for me know it’s going in a good way now.”
While it’s still unclear when Marquez will be back in MotoGP action – he will miss next month’s Qatar tests, but hasn’t yet ruled himself out of the March 28 race – at least the bone is now healing and progress is being made.
“It was tough on the physical side but also the mental side,” Marquez said of his lengthy recovery. “It was especially really hard around September-October because in that period the feeling of my arm was exactly the same. No improvement. It wasn’t going in a worse way. But no improvement. I felt like something inside was moving. This was my feeling.
“Then I had many different checks to try to find infection. But all the analysis and tests I did were negative. But something was not in a good way. The doctors said ‘you must wait’. I was waiting and I did what they said but the feeling was the same.
“Those two months were really hard. But then after the third operation – it was hard because it was ten days in hospital – but then since then I start to feel some steps with the arm and the feeling.
“I tried to always be optimistic and I never thought I would not race again. I always thought about ‘when is the next race, when is the next test’ to try and arrive.”