HRC confident Marquez will be close to full fitness in Qatar

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Honda is confident reigning world champion Marc Marquez will be close to 100% fitness to begin the defence of his MotoGP crown in Qatar this weekend.

The 21-year-old has missed pre-season tests in Sepang and Phillip Island after breaking his right leg in a dirt track training accident in Spain last month.

The last time the Repsol Honda rider rode his factory RC213V was back in early February when he dominated the opening test of 2014 at the Sepang track in Malaysia.

Marquez had hoped to take part in the Bridgestone tyre test at Phillip Island or the official IRTA test in Qatar last weekend but was advised to rest by medical staff in Barcelona.

HRC boss Livio Suppo said sitting out the remainder of the pre-season was the best course of action to give his right leg the maximum time to recover ahead of the season’s opening race in Doha on March 23.

Suppo told MCN: "I understand that Marc would have liked to ride but I really believe that even for Marc the best option was to wait. He proved at the first test and always that he is immediately very fast and he has already chosen the machine.

"I understand to arrive at the first race with only three days of testing done and almost two months without riding is not the best, but I believe his talent is good enough to manage this.

"I hope he will be close to normal fitness but what he will miss is only having three days on the bike and almost two months without riding a bike. Qatar is a longer weekend, starting on Thursday, so this could be a good way for him to ease back into it.”

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt