News 4 Feb 2019

Marquez targeting full-fitness for Qatar MotoGP opener

Reigning world champion set for Sepang test this week.

Image: Supplied.

After undergoing shoulder surgery during the off-season, reigning champion Marc Marquez is targeting to be at full-fitness for the opening round of the MotoGP World Championship in Qatar on 10 March.

The Spaniard took to the track last week aboard a practice bike, his first time back on a motorcycle since the operation, however his first real test will be this week at Sepang’s official test in Malaysia, where he’ll complete three days of riding aboard his RC213V.

“I needed this,” said Marquez after his first ride back. “I touched my elbow on the ground! Riders in general need to have their minds clear. At least on the trip to Malaysia, which is 14 hours long, I will be thinking I have ridden a bike, got on the brakes, felt the throttle and the clutch.

“We have done a few laps that have helped me to see where things are. This week we have to work on it. It was pretty much what I expected, the large force under braking – especially left-handers, where I have to support my left shoulder was problematic. That is where we have to continue working, have patience in Malaysia and get to March at full fitness.”

A recurring dislocation of the Repsol Honda rider’s left shoulder was the reason he underwent surgery throughout the off-season, which presented the only opportunity for it to be repaired.

Related