Fortune hasn’t favored Marc Marquez during the last three MotoGP seasons. As if battling through four surgeries on his right arm weren’t enough, the 29-year-old rider also struggled through two bouts with diplopia (double vision).
Marquez overcame his first diplopia diagnosis back in 2011. The condition returned following a motocross training accident in November, 2021, forcing the Repsol Honda rider to miss the final two races of the 2021 season. Number 93 return to the grid for the 2022 season was also short-lived, with a high-side crash at the Indonesian Grand Prix sidelining Marquez with a third spell of diplopia.
While speaking with Spanish broadcaster Antena 3, the eight-time World Champion confessed to considering retirement following the violent crash.
“Yes, this year, in March. I really thought about [retiring],” Marquez admitted. “The vision problem is very complicated. The vision is the vision. You can have an arm injury, but if you don't move it, you forget a bit. But the vision, you open your eyes and you see bending.”
Nevertheless, the Spanish rider forged ahead, beating his double vision yet again. Marquez raced in the first four rounds of the season’s European leg before voluntarily bowing out for a fourth operation on his right humerus. After facing such trials and tribulations, any mere mortal would cash in their chips. Not Marquez.
During an interview with U.K. media outlet BT Sport, 2003 WSBK Champion Neil Hodgson asserted that revenge could play a part in Marquez’s headstrong approach.
“People have won more titles. He wants to beat Valentino [Rossi],” Hodgson surmised.
While Marquez and Rossi maintained a cordial (dare I say friendly) relationship throughout 2013 and 2014, the pair face-off in one of the most infamous incidents in MotoGP history. At the 2015 Malaysian Grand Prix, The Doctor accused Marquez of helping his teammate and title rival Jorge Lorenzo at the preceding Australian GP. Waring words at the weekly press conference came to blows on the track, where Rossi kicked over Marquez during the Sunday race.
The two riders have remained rivals on the circuit and in the media ever since. Of course, the Honda rider hasn’t confirmed Hodgson’s statements at this point, but it would certainly justify Marquez’s eagerness to return to the top of the Premier Class—even after three years plagued by injuries and misfortune.
Sources: Motorcycle Sports, Crash, BT Sport, Antena 3