Marc Marquez to make MotoGP return at French GP

Honda has announced that Marc Marquez will return to action in this weekend’s MotoGP French Grand Prix having been absent due to injury since the end of March.

Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team

Marquez broke the base of his right thumb after colliding with RNF Aprilia rider Miguel Oliveira on the third lap of the Portuguese GP season opener on 26 March.

The eight-time world champion underwent surgery that evening in Madrid and was ruled out of the following week’s Argentina GP.

Marquez was also forced to miss the Americas GP in mid-April, although he had hoped to be able to return at his home race in Spain at the end of the month.

However, three medical teams warned him that riding at Jerez would risk putting too much strain on his recovering thumb and that any further damage could spell the end of his career.

As a result, Marquez pulled out of the Jerez round and was replaced by former Tech3 KTM rider Iker Lecuona, who rides for Honda in the World Superbike championship.

At Jerez, Marquez said he hoped he would be fit enough to race at Le Mans, and following a CT scan earlier this week the Spaniard has been cleared to ride.

“I am really happy to be back with the Repsol Honda Team, about to ride my bike again," commented Marquez. "First of all I want to thank my medical team for their professionalism and advice over the past few weeks.

"Of course as a rider you always want to be back as soon as possible, but with an injury like this it was really important to allow it to heal.

"Now I am here and fully focused on riding, I have no worries about the injury since it’s fully healed. Let’s see what the French GP brings and most importantly, work to our maximum.”


Marquez was handed a double long lap penalty for the collision with Oliveira, which was initially to be served in Argentina as communicated by the FIM stewards.

However, the stewards altered the wording of the penalty to apply it to the next round he took part in, which Honda appealed on legal grounds.

The matter was referred to the FIM’s Court of Appeal and the penalty was given a stay of execution while the case was fully resolved.

On Tuesday evening, the Court of Appeal announced that it had annulled Marquez’s penalty as it felt the time off he has served due to injury was punishment enough in this case.

It also transpired that Marquez was verbally told by the stewards that he would not have to serve his penalty if he missed Argentina due to injury, pre-empting the fact he was likely to need surgery on his hand after the incident.

While Marquez returns, Oliveira will be absent from the French GP – which marks the 1000th grand prix event in the series’ history – after he was taken out of the Spanish GP by Fabio Quartararo and suffered a fractured shoulder.

Oliveira will be replaced at the RNF team by Aprilia test rider Lorenzo Savadori.

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