They have not been easy years for Honda. But, especially, they have not been for Marc Márquez. Two shoulder operations, the injury in Jerez with a fracture in his right arm, another three steps in the operating room and, as if that seemed not enough, the reappearance of double vision on two occasions. One jug of cold water after another for the man from Cervera who, despite the difficulties, continues to rise with the aim of becoming world champion again. It is a very complicated task for several reasons: he himself admits that his riding with his right arm “is not the same” because his condition forces him “to use his legs more to control the bike”, he can no longer play as much with a train striker who has become critical and, to make matters worse, must “avoid a new blow to the head at all costs to avoid possible vision problems”.
Márquez continues to fight to be the same old Marc again. And, although his ambition and his aggressive style remain intact, “it is not easy” to return to the level with which he signed a historic comeback in Jerez 2020, prior to the accident that we all already know. Although, as the man from Honda confesses in an interview with L’Equipe, the main thing is to leave all those thoughts off the bike because “otherwise, you can’t go any further”. And, if he continues in MotoGP, it is because, stronger than ever, he accepts the risk that this sport entails: “If I hadn’t, I wouldn’t have been able to set the best time in the first free practice sessions in the rain in Portugal and I wouldn’t have been able to set the time I did on a still wet track in qualifying… If I didn’t accept the risk, I couldn’t go fast, and the day I don’t accept the risk, I will end my race.”
And, although now he opens up completely and explains it easily, he also had to face the most difficult moments of his entire sports career. Those where the mind plays the most fundamental role. “There were times when I thought about quitting”, confesses the man from Lleida, although “not definitively”, rather “in the form of a long parenthesis”. “I thought about it last year when I had a hard time coming back in the spring, and this year too after that fall in Mandalika that caused my vision to wake up… But I realized that if I did, I could never come back as well as before. “, he adds, because he knows that “when a champion is for one year, he is never the same again”. And he’s already been out of the loop for nine months. “It’s difficult, but I keep going,” he adds, knowing that “you have to be realistic about the goals that can be achieved.”
It’s worth it?
And the answer was very clear: “Yes, I ask myself that question from time to time. But so far the answer has always been yes. Yes, what I’m going through is worth it. Of course I take a lot of risks, but that’s how I’ve won eight world titles. I know some people think that if I had taken fewer risks I would have won more championships. But maybe I would have won fewer too. No one can answer that question. If I didn’t have this mentality, I might not have been world champion in 2013 Not even in 2010, when I was running 125.