Marc Marquez is no stranger to pain. The six-time MotoGP champion has battled through four arm surgeries and a double dose of double vision (diplopia)—and that’s just in the last two years. Marquez just keeps coming back, though.
After voluntarily bowing out of the Grand Prix following the Mugello round (Italy), the Repsol Honda rider received another operation on his right humerus. The subsequent healing and rehab process required 110 days, but the eight-time world champ was back in the saddle of his RC213V at the 2022 Aragon Grand Prix on September 18, 2022.
Sadly, that comeback was short-lived, as Marquez clashed with both Fabio Quartararo and Takaaki Nakagami before a mechanical issue forced him to retire from the race. Without completing a full-race distance, the Spanish rider’s arm stamina remains a question mark. However, Marquez believes Japan’s Motegi Circuit will provide the real litmus test.
"Aragón was very demanding for me because the intensity of a race weekend is different from a test like in Misano," admitted Marquez. “Here in Motegi, the right arm is subjected to great stress for the first time. Because there are many hard, long braking phases in right-hand bends. I will have to manage this situation and my physical condition well."
Brembo ranks Motegi’s Twin Ring as one of the most brake-heavy circuits on the calendar. Additionally, the left-turn-dominant MotorLand Aragon track helped Marquez nurse his healing right arm. That won’t be the case at the right-hand-heavy Motegi course.
“In Aragón I said that Sunday would not be a problem–but maybe it is here. But I will understand that straight away in FP1,” Márquez noted.
Looking at the 75-minute FP1 results, it seems like the 29-year-old's right arm is holding up. Marquez finished the race weekend’s first day sixth on the time sheets. Of course, a rider’s one-lap pace is a very different metric than their full-race pace, but if we know one thing about Marquez, it’s that he’ll push through the pain whenever possible.