MotoGP: Marc Marquez completes positive test day at Portimao

Marc Marquez made his short circuit return at Portimao on Sunday
Marc Marquez made his short circuit return at Portimao on Sunday
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Marc Marquez made his return to a Grand Prix racing circuit on Sunday and has reported "no major problems" with his eyesight. 

Marquez completed 65 laps onboard the Honda Honda RC213V-S in Portugal, as he looked to assess how his eye would cope with high speeds and tiredness during the day. It was the first time he'd ridden on a circuit since winning Emilia Romagna Grand Prix at Misano on October 24.

The Repsol Honda rider is edging ever closer to a return to racing after suffering from a case of diplopia (double vision) as a result of an off-road training accident last November.

It’s the second time that Marquez has suffered from double vision, after suffering the same, career-threatening injury as a Moto2 rider in 2011. This episode ruled him out of the final two races of 2021, as well as the Jerez test. 

A positive medical assessment last week allowed Marquez to return to cycling and motocross riding, before visiting Portimao.

 

 

"I am feeling very happy, first to be back on a bike at the track and also because we were able to confirm the sensations I had on a motocross bike here with the road bike," Marquez said after his test. "It’s a great feeling, a feeling of relief because when I was riding, I didn’t have any discomfort with my vision. Since I haven’t ridden in so long, I did notice some physical areas where I’m missing a little bit, but this is just because I have not been able to have my usual pre-season.

"There’s a margin to improve but the positive and the fundamental take away from this test was to reconfirm the feeling we had when we first got on the motocross bike and to enjoy the good feeling of speed. I have completed an intense day of riding with long runs, I am very happy with the results.

"We have two weeks until testing begins in Sepang so I will take the opportunity to intensify my physical preparation and train on the bike."

As explained to the media last Friday (January 14), Marquez will have further medical assessments on his eyesight before being given the go ahead to ride his RC213V MotoGP bike at the Sepang test on February 5-6. 


MotoGP: Marc Marquez to be assessed again after HRC road bike test

First published: 14 January 2022 by Josh Close

Marc Marquez Eye

Marc Marquez will be assessed by doctors after completing a test on a production bike on a Grand Prix circuit in order to see if he'll be able to take part in the Sepang test.

The Spaniard has been riding a motocross bike this week after doctors confirmed a clear improvement with his vision after a case of double vision following an enduro bike accident last November.

Marquez spoke to the media for the first time since that accident today, and was able to explain exactly what happened during that training exercise.

"I took my enduro bike and I was riding at a very small circuit close to my town with enduro world champion Josep Garcia, who I have a good relationship with," Marquez explains to journalists. "I rode for 20 minutes and that's when I said 'ok, I'll do two more laps before we go'. At that point, I crashed at a right corner, a highside, and hit my head on the ground - but I stood up and picked my bike up.

"I continued my enduro trip, arrived home and took a shower. Three hours later I started to feel something strange with my vision and head, so I phone my doctor and he told me not to panic. He suggested I wait for the first week as this may be normal, but after that week the problem was still there, and that's when we told you."

Marquez also defended the decision to go off-road training, stating that it can also be dangerous riding a production bike on circuits which aren't at a Grand Prix standard.

"The risk is always there," he added. "If you stay on your sofa, you will not have any risk and you will race every race, but you will not be the best in the world."

The next stage for Marquez will be to test a Honda production bike, either on a CBR1000 or on the RC213V-S bike which he rode ahead of his return from his arm injury last year, on a Grand Prix circuit.

As things stand, it looks like Marquez will not require surgery, however he still won't know if he'll be fit enough to take part in the Sepang Test until his doctors have assessed his situation after riding at high speed around a physically challenging GP track.

"It looks like we don't need surgery. If I'm riding the bike, it's because I have perfect vision. I’m following the advice of the doctor and he now wants to see me at a GP circuit, at high speeds, alone, for a one-day test with a lot of laps to see if when I get tired, I have any problems or not.

"Me and my doctor need to evaluate all of these things before he can allow me to be at the test in Malaysia. From the moment I got injured, we've taken the conservative way. Taking it step by step, as time will fix everything. If time doesn’t fix everything, then I will need the surgery. But this time it looks like it’s working in a good way, and everything is good."

After finding out the good news from his doctor, Marquez began cycling on the road before jumping on his motocross bike. As he said above, taking it step by step has been key, because an eye injury is a tricky case, even for doctors.

"The doctor didn't say to me that it would be one month, three months, or six months. Even the doctors don't know. It was trick, but step by step, it was coming better, but when you have this type of injury, everything is on the table; surgery, time, the possibility of not riding a bike. It was hard because you do not know your future.

" I want to do more days and I want to try at a GP circuit to see because I need to be 100% sure that when I start my pre-season, I will be fixed and ready to do a normal season."

The Sepang test takes place on February 5-6.


MotoGP: Marc Marquez returns to motocross training following vision problem improvements

First published: 14 January 2021 at 08:28 by Josh Close

Marc Marquez Motocross Training

Marc Marquez is back on two wheels after doctors confirmed a clear improvement with his eyesight.

Marquez has been out of action since November after a training accident caused a severe concussion and a case of diplopia (double vision). As a result, the Repsol Honda rider missed Portimao and Valencia, as well as the official test at Jerez.

The story so far

Diplopia is something that the Spaniard has had to battle before. Marquez's career was left in real doubt at the end of 2011 as he struggled with vision problems following a Moto2 crash at Sepang.

However, as revealed in a statement from the team, things are looking much more positive this time around, and Marquez has returned to motocross training. Last night's statement (January 13) read:

"Marc Marquez underwent a medical examination with Dr. Sánchez Dalmau last Monday to analyse the situation of his diplopia. The ophthalmologist confirmed a clear improvement in the vision of the eight-time World Champion.

"With this progress, the Repsol Honda Team rider received authorization to ride a motorcycle and motocross, the most demanding discipline possible in the world of two wheels, was chosen by Marquez and his team. After a three-month absence, the Spanish rider returned to riding at the Ponts Circuit (Lleida). After several runs his sensations and feelings on the bike were more than optimistic.

"The next step for Marquez will be to ride on a paved racetrack."

 

 

At the time of writing, it's unclear whether Marquez will be ready in time for the first pre-season test of 2022 at Sepang. The two-day test takes place on February 5-6. However, following his medical breakthrough, Marquez will now be speaking to the media today (January 14) as part of HRC's 2022 launch event.

The improvement in Marquez's vision will come as a huge relief to Honda. Despite missing a total of four races in 2021, Marquez still ended the season as the best-placed Honda rider. Marquez finished seventh overall, 42 points clear of teammate Pol Espargaro in 12th.


MotoGP: Marc Marquez making progress following double vision treatment

First published: 22 December 2021 by Josh Close

Marc Marquez Eye

A new statement from Repsol Honda has revealed that Marc Marquez is making favourable progress with his treatment and recovery for double vision.

The Spaniard was diagnosed with an episode of diplopia after suffering a severe concussion in a training accident ahead of the Portuguese Grand Prix at Portimao in November. As a result, Marquez missed the final two rounds of the year, and also the official test at Jerez - missing his chance to test the 2022 RC213V.

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Marquez damaged nerves in the same eye back in 2011 after a crash during Moto2 practice for the Malaysian GP at Sepang. The double vision plagued the 28-year-old for several months and there were concerns at the time that Marquez would be unable to race again. 

Today's update reads:

"The Repsol Honda Team rider, who last October was diagnosed with an episode of diplopia after suffering a fall while training for the Portuguese GP, has continued periodic visits to his trusted ophthalmologist to assess the evolution of his vision over the past two months. During these reviews the progress made has been deemed favourable and as a result Marquez will continue with a conservative treatment plan for the next few weeks.

"Marc Marquez will continue to undergo periodic reviews with Dr. Sánchez Dalmau during the coming weeks alongside the conservative treatment plan. The situation does not prevent the rider from Cervera from continuing his physical training plan to prepare himself physically for a new season."

It's promising news for Marquez, who is continuing to train as normal with the hope of being fit and ready to ride should he be given the all-clear in time for pre-season testing. The first official test of 2022 takes place at Sepang on February 5-6, and will be followed by a trip to the Mandalika International Street Circuit in Indonesia on February 11-13. 

His eye problems meant that Marquez missed a total of four races in 2021, after also missing the opening two rounds in Qatar whilst continuing his recovery from the broken humerus he suffered at Jerez in 2020.

Despite missing those races, Marquez still ended the season as the best-placed Honda rider in seventh, and won three races. Marquez won at his beloved Sachsenring and Circuit of the Americas, before being handed victory at Misano when Francesco Bagnaia crashed out of the lead.


MotoGP: Vision problems rule Marc Marquez out of Valencia and Jerez test

First published: 9 November 2021 by Josh Close

Marc Marquez's 2021 MotoGP campaign has come to a premature end after he was ruled out of the season finale due to vision problems.

The Repsol Honda rider missed last weekend's race at Portimao after suffering a concussion in a training accident. However, Marquez has now revealed that's he's suffering from a new case of diplopia (double vision).

Marquez suffered from double vision back in 2011 after a Moto2 crash during practice at Sepang. The Spaniard suffered some trauma to his trochlear nerve, which caused paralysis of the superior oblique muscle. This controls the rotation of the eyeball in certain directions. 

Plagued with vision problems for four to five months, Marquez was told by doctors that he may not be able ride again - with four or five practicians unable to guarantee a full recovery. Marquez underwent surgery to try and correct the issue and was fortunately able to return to action and win the Moto2 title in 2012. 

In today's statement from HRC, it was revealed that Marquez has continued to feel unwell following his off-road accident and that double vision has returned. Yesterday (Monday November 8), he was visited by phthalmologist Dr. Sánchez Dalmau at the Hospital Clínic de Barcelona, who examined him and performed the tests, which detected a new episode of diplopia.

“The examination carried out on Marc Marquez today after the accident that occurred has confirmed that the rider has diplopia and has revealed a paralysis of the fourth right nerve with involvement of the right superior oblique muscle," Dr. Sánchez Dalmau explained.

"A conservative treatment with periodic updates has been chosen to follow with the clinical evolution. This fourth right nerve is the one that was already injured in 2011." 

Marquez also had to visit the medical centre to have his eyes cleaned at the British Grand Prix at Silverstone after some sand got into them following a big crash in practice.

Despite missing four races in 2021, Marquez will still end the year as the top Honda rider. The six-time premier class champion has won three races this season, at the Sachsenring, Circuit of the Americas and Misano. 

It's likely that Stefan Bradl will once again step in for Marquez, both at this weekend's season finale and at the Jerez Test later this month.


MotoGP: Marc Marquez to miss Algarve Grand Prix following concussion

First published: 2 November 2021 by Josh Close

Marquez Concussion

Marc Marquez will not take part in this weekend's Algarve Grand Prix at Portimao after suffering a concussion in a training accident.

The Repsol Honda rider was diagnosed with "a slight head concussion" after a fall during some off-road training last Saturday. As a result, due to health and safety protocol, Marquez will be unable to race in Portugal.

Related articles from MCN

"This past Saturday Marc Marquez, while preparing for the Algarve Grand Prix with one of his standard off-road training sessions, suffered a fall that caused a slight head concussion," today's HRC statement reads.

"After a few days of rest at home and seeing that he was still unwell, today Marquez has been assessed by doctors in a medical check-up to evaluate his current status. As a precautionary measure, this coming weekend Marquez will not contest the Algarve Grand Prix."

Portimao is one of only two circuits which Marquez has not won a race at, alongside the Red Bull Ring, but he would have been considered a favourite after winning the last two MotoGP races.

Marquez continued his dominance at the Circuit of the Americas, before benefiting from Jack Miller and Francesco Bagnaia crashing out at Misano. The five-time premier class champion is currently sixth in the championship with 142 points, seven behind fifth-placed Miller.

Despite missing the opening two races, to continue his extensive recovery programme after braking his right humerus in 2020, and suffering four DNFs, Marquez will still end the season at the top Honda rider - further outlining their reliance on him. Ironically, Marquez made his comeback at Portimao earlier in the year, finishing the race in seventh - Honda's best result of the year at that time.

With the season finale at Valencia only a week away, it remains to be seen whether Marquez will be given the green light by doctors to compete so soon after a concussion.

Read the latest stories causing a buzz this week in Sport…

Josh Close

By Josh Close

Sports Reporter and fan of all things motorsport.