Marc Marquez to Return at the French Grand Prix
Written by Vyas Ponnuri
Repsol Honda rider, and eight-time World Champion Marc Marquez is set to make a return to MotoGP at this weekend’s French Grand Prix at Le Mans, over a month on from his crash at the season-opener at Portugal.
Marquez’s crash in the sprint race with Aprilia rider Miguel Oliveira saw both riders exit the race. While Oliveira had to sit out the following round at Argentina, the Portuguese rider made a return for round three at Austin. On the other hand, Marquez sustained a broken metacarpal on his right hand, and was forced to miss the following rounds at Argentina, Austin, and the previous event at Jerez, Spain.
Marquez attempted to make a return at his home race in Jerez, only for doctors to advise him against an early return. The doctors expressed the dangers regarding an early return, as the Spaniard’s recovering thumb would be put under immense strain, and could spell the end of his career.
Thus, the eight-time World Champion opted against returning at Jerez, and was replaced by Iker Lecuona, who rides for Honda in the World Superbike Championship. The Spaniard hoped to return for the upcoming round at Le Mans instead. Following a further CT scan on Tuesday, Marquez was cleared to race at the French Grand Prix.
He returns to the Repsol Honda team alongside teammate Joan Mir, as they look to continue their campaign in 2023. Marquez’s return is a big boost for the Honda team, the #93 having triumphed thrice at the French circuit.
In other news, Marquez will not have to serve his double long lap penalty at Le Mans either, following a ruling by the FIM Court of Appeal. While he was slapped a penalty for the succeeding round at Argentina, Marquez was ruled out of the race itself. This led to the stewards changing the rules later, to make sure the Honda rider served the penalty on his return.
The team appealed to the FIM Court of Appeal, who then annulled the penalty, on grounds of Marquez having already served it by his non-participation during the race weekend at Argentina. It was later stated he could return without any sanctions based on the infringement mentioned.
Marquez expressed his delight and happiness upon his MotoGP return:
“I am really happy to be back with the Repsol Honda Team, about to ride my bike again. First of all I want to thank my medical team for their professionalism and advice over the past few weeks. Of course as a rider you always want to be back as soon as possible, but with an injury like this it was really important to allow it to heal. Now I am here and fully focused on riding, I have no worries about the injury since it’s fully healed. Let’s see what the French GP brings and most importantly, work to our maximum.”