MotoGP: Why Marc Marquez’s Qatar return could be costly for Honda
Marc Marquez has been confirmed on the entry list for the opening round of the season, but, is it a good idea for the eight-time champion to return?
Marc Marquez’s 2020 season ended pretty much before it began, crashing out of a heroic comeback at the Spanish Grand Prix in Jerez. The turn-three highside resulted in a broken humerus resulting in 12 pins and a plate in his right arm.
Marquez made an equally impressive return to action six-days later but withdrew from the event after losing strength in his lower arm.
The Honda rider underwent several complications and two surgeries after the famous “French door” accident. Since July, Marquez has been off a MotoGP bike and recently ruled himself out of the 2021 official test in Qatar. However, as the official entry list was confirmed, the famous number 93 does feature, but is it worth it?
Doctors were convinced that Marquez would have to miss the first few races, given that he hasn’t ridden a bike in such a large period of time, but with even Marquez confirming he is close to riding again, could the 28-year-old return to premier class action?
It would be best to wait and avoid making the same mistakes as of 2020. As we’ve seen in previous years and more recently at the Qatar test, the Losail International Circuit takes no prisoners, with the dew settling on the dusty circuit.
A crash for Marquez could result in serious consequences if it goes wrong. He confirmed that he was “close to riding”, – but should he really be jumping on the RC213V with his fellow Grand Prix riders in Qatar?
Marquez’s new-for-2021 team-mate Pol Espargaro enjoyed a positive first test in Qatar but might take a little bit of time to get to where he wants to be as he continues to make the transition from the RC16 to the RC213V.
Stefan Bradl, who replaced Marquez throughout 2020, has been in fine form under the lights. The German topped the opening day of action and finished second and fifth across the opening two official test days.
Should Marquez remain sidelined, the 31-year-old looks to be in a good position to fight for a podium in Qatar, providing Honda gives him the bike he knows and not another experimental RC213V as we saw in 2020.
Full Provisional Entry List for the Barwa Grand Prix of Qatar:
5 – Johann Zarco (Pramac Racing)
9 – Danilo Petrucci (Tech3 KTM Factory Racing)
10 – Luca Marini (SKY VR46 Avintia)
12 – Maverick Viñales (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP)
20 – Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP)
21 – Franco Morbidelli (Petronas Yamahaa SRT)
23 – Enea Bastianini (Avintia Esponsorama Racing)
27 – Iker Lecuona (Tech3 KTM Factory Racing)
30 – Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda Idemitsu)
32 – Lorenzo Savadori (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini)
33 – Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing)
36 – Joan Mir (Team Suzuki Ecstar)
41 – Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini)
42 – Alex Rins (Team Suzuki Ecstar)
43 – Jack Miller (Ducati Lenovo Team)
44 – Pol Espargaro (Repsol Honda Team)
46 – Valentino Rossi (Petronas Yamaha SRT)
63 – Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo Team)
73 – Alex Marquez (LCR Honda Castrol)
88 – Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing)
89 – Jorge Martin (Pramac Racing)
93 – Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team)
The season opener takes place under the lights in Qatar on March 28th.
Featured image: MotoGP.com