A lot of MotoGP fans were eagerly awaiting the return of Marc Marquez, who after undergoing a fourth surgery to his right humerus, seemed more optimistic than ever before about a solid comeback to racing. Indeed, Marquez made a comeback in the Aragon round of the MotoGP held on September 18, 2022, but surely, not the comeback he had hoped for.
You see, despite being in pretty good shape and in an optimistic mindset, the race weekend wouldn’t pan out as expected for the Spaniard. On the opening lap of the Aragon GP, marquez had a moment on the exit of Turn Three wherein he ran a bit wide following a bit of a slide. This then resulted in reigning MotoGP World Champion Fabio Quartararo to smash straight into Marc. As is the case with most rear-end collisions, it’s the guy at the back who suffers the most, and so Quartararo was sent flying off his Yamaha and tumbled quite a few times on the tarmac.
Although Marquez didn’t hit the ground, a piece of Quartararo’s fairing was caught in the rear suspension assembly of Marquez’s RC213V. This would later on come to haunt him in Turn Seven, wherein his bike would veer to the side after activating the holeshot device, and inadvertently collide with Taka Nakagami, who was also sent hurtling to the ground.
Indeed, it was a series of unfortunate events that caused a thoroughly disappointing comeback race for Marc Marquez, as well as a hit that would make Taka Nakagami’s already unremarkable season even worse. To top it all off, Quartararo’s title lead has been slashed to a mere 10 points, with Pecco Bagnaia tailing closely behind.
Having said all that, Marquez explained in a recent article by motorsports journal Crash that incidents like these are common, especially in the opening lap of the race wherein riders are bunched so closely together and tires aren’t quite up to operating temps just yet. That being said, the Spaniard took responsibility for the incidents, and extended apologies to both Nakagami and Quartararo.
In the end, it was a strong finish for Ducati, with Enea Bastianini taking the top spot and Pecco Bagnaia following milliseconds after. Some six seconds behind, Aleix Espargaro took a podium, garnering 16 championship points, and setting him in third in the overall standings. With that, Quartaro continues to lead the overall standings with 211 points, however, it’s anyone’s game as Bagnaia and Espargaro trail closely behind with 201 and 194 points respectively.