Marquez’s MotoGP rivals “expected” his strong comeback

Marc Marquez’s rival MotoGP riders have praised his comeback efforts at the Portuguese Grand Prix, admitting they “expected” him to be strong despite nine months off his Honda.

Marquez’s MotoGP rivals “expected” his strong comeback

The six-time MotoGP world champion qualified sixth and finished seventh in his first race since suffering the right arm break in last year’s Spanish GP that would require three operations and rule him out of the 2020 season.

Marquez broke down in tears when he returned to his Honda garage after the race, admitting he “exploded” with emotion having dreamt of that race for so long.

Speaking after the race, Portugal winner Fabio Quartararo says he was not surprised to see Marquez going so strong on his first weekend back.

“I expected that,” he said of Marquez’s race.

“He finished a little bit more than 10 seconds from the lead, but he never made 25 [laps] in a row [at Portimao].

“This track for me is the most physical track on the calendar; now he knows the feeling of doing a full race on a tough track.

“So now he will come back to a track he knows pretty well in Jerez, so for me it’s the result that I expected and in qualifying he was impressive. So, he’s back.”

Reigning world champion Joan Mir echoed Quartararo’s thoughts, adding: “For me also I expected one result like this from Marc.

“The truth is that he looks like he’s close to 100% and he was able to make a strong comeback.

“The truth also is that he’s been really, really strong also this weekend.

Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team

Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

“It’s the first test he did with the Honda and for sure it’s not the same Honda from when he left.

Read Also:

“This makes everything more difficult, even if you are not at 100%, so it’s more difficult.

“He and his team did a great job and he managed to finish first Honda.”

Ducati’s Francesco Bagnaia notes Marquez wouldn’t have returned last weekend had he not been competitive and is sure “he will be on top” next time out at the Spanish GP.

“I was expecting his return would be like this,” Bagnaia said.

“And after a weekend like this, because he was third in the first session, sixth in the second session, qualified sixth.

“I was thinking he would try to fight for the top 10 and he finished seventh - I was thinking that he was able to make a result like this.

“I think also he wouldn’t comeback if he wasn’t at 100%, so I think physically he is on top.

“For sure, riding a bike is different physically and riding for 25 laps is difficult.

“But he made what I was expecting, and at Jerez he will be on top for sure.”

shares
comments

Related video

Podcast: Portuguese MotoGP review and Marc Marquez's return

Previous article

Podcast: Portuguese MotoGP review and Marc Marquez's return

Next article

How Yamaha’s rookie-spec MotoGP star is taking charge

How Yamaha’s rookie-spec MotoGP star is taking charge
Load comments

About this article

Series MotoGP
Author Lewis Duncan
Why the most significant Le Mans MotoGP performance wasn't Miller's Plus

Why the most significant Le Mans MotoGP performance wasn't Miller's

Hot on the heels of his first MotoGP win in five years, Jack Miller made it two from two with a commanding French Grand Prix victory at Le Mans despite two long-lap penalties. Impressive though it was, it was an expectation-defying performance from an anticipated title rival that was the real standout

The impossible problem Honda faces with its 2021 MotoGP bike Plus

The impossible problem Honda faces with its 2021 MotoGP bike

Honda hasn’t enjoyed an easy start to the 2021 MotoGP campaign, despite gains last season which looked to have carried over into the pre-season. Now admitting it does have issues in serious need of resolving, it faces an almost impossible task in doing so

MotoGP
May 11, 2021
How Jerez underlined MotoGP's speed problem Plus

How Jerez underlined MotoGP's speed problem

The brutal nature of a series of crashes at Jerez has reopened the debate about whether current MotoGP speeds are beyond the safety limits of the tracks. But even if riders are supportive of the move, getting the manufacturers to find a consensus on how speed reductions should be achieved may be altogether harder

MotoGP
May 4, 2021
How a Crutchlow helped Miller to Jerez MotoGP redemption Plus

How a Crutchlow helped Miller to Jerez MotoGP redemption

Jack Miller’s tough start to life as a factory Ducati MotoGP rider left him mentally battered and bruised, but a pep talk and positive reinforcement from a surprising source aided the Australian to show his full potential with victory at the Spanish Grand Prix

MotoGP
May 3, 2021
What does Marc Marquez have to do to get back to his best? Plus

What does Marc Marquez have to do to get back to his best?

Following his resounding MotoGP return with a seventh place finish in Portugal, Marc Marquez now must work to rediscover his best form before turning his attention towards results-based targets

MotoGP
Apr 20, 2021
How Yamaha’s rookie-spec MotoGP star is taking charge Plus

How Yamaha’s rookie-spec MotoGP star is taking charge

Fabio Quartararo is on a roll in 2021, having stormed to victory at a venue where he last year served up one of his worst races. Contrasting Portuguese GPs for Yamaha’s factory duo make it hard to understand just how good its 2021 MotoGP bike is, but the Portimao weekend has revealed one key improvement compared to 2020

MotoGP
Apr 19, 2021
The hurdles Marquez faces next in his Portugal MotoGP return Plus

The hurdles Marquez faces next in his Portugal MotoGP return

Even by Marc Marquez’s own high standards, his MotoGP comeback on Friday at the Portuguese Grand Prix will be considered a success even if he didn’t top the times. But having shown competitive pace on his first day back, both Marquez and his rivals know plenty more challenges are to come

MotoGP
Apr 16, 2021
Where does Honda's new MotoGP signing sit ahead of its king's return? Plus

Where does Honda's new MotoGP signing sit ahead of its king's return?

Pol Espargaro’s first results as a Honda MotoGP rider may not appear special. But dig a little deeper and a clearer picture of his performance emerges. And, as Lewis Duncan writes, it’s cause for celebration at Honda with the return of Marc Marquez set to provide Espargaro with the reference he has been missing so far this year

MotoGP
Apr 12, 2021