JEREZ • MotoGP world champion Marc Marquez was declared fit to compete in this weekend’s Andalucia Grand Prix (GP), just 48 hours after undergoing surgery on a broken arm, his Honda team announced yesterday.
“Fit to ride,” Honda tweeted, alongside a photo of the Spaniard giving the thumbs up riding pillion on a scooter after his medical at the Jerez circuit.
The six-time elite world champion was not expected to make his return until the Czech GP in August.
But the 27-year-old has defied medical odds to deny his rivals a chance to steal an early march in the coronavirus-shortened season’s title race.
Marquez returned to the scene of his crash in last Sunday’s opening Spanish GP from Barcelona where on Tuesday, he had a titanium plate inserted into his right arm.
Also given the green light to race the second leg of the championship were two other crash victims from last weekend — LCR-Honda’s Cal Crutchlow, who required surgery on his left wrist, and Alex Rins.
Marquez’s single-mindedness to not miss an opportunity to bolster his chances in the title race came as bad news for those chasing the crown he won in 2013, 2014, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019.
If he clinches a seventh title, he will draw level with Valentino Rossi, the Italian motorcycling legend who defied medical predictions himself when competing in the 2017 Aragon GP, 19 days after breaking his leg.
With fewer races than planned this season, Marquez is desperate not to fall too far behind in the championship with the nascent standings led by Yamaha’s French rider Fabio Quartararo who showed his ambitions by taking his maiden MotoGP victory in the delayed curtain-raiser last weekend.
Quartararo dominated last week despite only riding for Yamaha’s satellite outfit, finally converting a pole position into a MotoGP win at the seventh time of asking.
The 21-year-old, the first French- man to win a MotoGP race since 1999, insists he can still get better.
“We need to enjoy this victory, but also focus on the next race this weekend as this new calendar is intense with few breaks, so it’s important to stay concentrated,” said Quartararo, who finished fifth in the riders’ standings last season as a rookie.
He leads on 25 points from Maverick Vinales on 20 and Ducati’s Andrea Dovizioso on 16 points. — AFP