Marc Marquez hasn’t had the easiest pre-season after the reigning MotoGP champion had surgery on his left shoulder in December after post-season testing. But Marquez got back on a bike for the first time since the operation.
Throughout the 2018 season, Marquez had dislocated his shoulder over race weekends. The winter break was the only time he could get it operated on.
Marquez admitted during the Repsol Honda team launch last week that the operation was a lot more difficult to recover from than he expected. He also stated that he would not be fully fit for the first pre-season test in Sepang.
After hours of physiotherapy and targeted winter fitness programme, a practice bike was the next step for Marquez. The Spaniard took to a track in Alcarras, near his hometown Cervera, to see if his shoulder was ready to meet the demands of a bike just two months after his operation.
In a Repsol Honda Team press release Marquez said: “I needed this!
“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.”
Focus now turns to the upcoming official MotoGP test in Sepang, Malaysia on February 6 where Marquez will be joined by Stefan Bradl on the Repsol Honda machine. Bradl replaces the injured Jorge Lorenzo who is hoping to be back in action at the Qatar test on February 23.