30 April 2015
MotoGP Jerez: Marquez: A friend ran over my hand!
"I was lucky that it was only the finger [broken] because when a bike passes over your hand it can be more" - Marc Marquez.
Reigning MotoGP champion Marc Marquez has confirmed that his finger was fractured after it was run over - by a friend.
One rider who knows all about left little finger injuries is Bradley Smith, whose own finger is permanently bent downwards after having the tendon removed.
Already 30 points from world championship leader Valentino Rossi after their collision in Argentina, Marquez sustained the injury while dirt track training in Spain.
“It was Saturday morning and we were [riding] with friends like always,” Marquez explained at Jerez on Thursday, on the eve of this weekend's home Spanish Grand Prix.
“It was a very small crash, but one friend was behind me and he passed over my hand. I was lucky that it was only the finger [broken] because when a bike passes over your hand it can be more.”
Marquez suffered 'a severe displacement of the fifth [little] finger', for which a titanium plate was inserted during surgery in Barcelona that same day.
“The operation put the finger more or less straight because it was - when I took off the glove I could already see that it was broken because the finger was [sideways]. But Dr Mir did a really good job, because I broke the finger at 2 o'clock and at 6 o'clock it was already fixed.”
Having been passed fit to ride this weekend, the big question now is how much the hand injury will impair the 22-year-old Repsol Honda star.
“Sure to put the hand inside the glove is disturbing me and it can be [a problem] for braking and acceleration. But until I try it on the bike I don't know,” he admitted.
“Of course it will be painful because the operation was only on Saturday evening. We will suffer more than in other races, but racing here in Jerez in front of the fans I have [extra] motivation which can help me.”
“I've seen the picture that Dr Mir took [of Marquez post-operation] and it's very similar to the one he took of my finger, so he seems to have a weird fetish of taking pictures of riders' fingers and then showing it to them afterwards!” Smith joked. “[Finger injuries] are one of those things. They are painful. They do hurt. It's aggro inside the glove. But it's part and parcel of our job and we just accept it and move on.”
Rossi meanwhile knows first-hand the benefits and perils of training on a dirt bike:
“First of all we race with a motorcycle, so the best training for us is with a motorcycle. And all the riders love motocross because it's very funny, is a great training physically and also is very technical. So it's always great fun because when you go with a motocross bike is like a MotoGP bike. A full race bike you know.
"Everybody loves it but unfortunately this sometimes happens. It's happened to me, the shoulder injury [in 2010]. It's happened to a lot of other riders. You always have to try to train, but not too much and you have also to be lucky.”
Looking ahead, Marquez insists the championship situation hasn't put him under extra pressure.
“I don't feel the pressure,” said Marquez, who is yet to lose a MotoGP title since joining the class in 2013. “In Qatar I had much more pressure than now, it's just three races and still 15 races remain. Of course you would like to be 30 points in front, not behind, but in 2013 after six races I was also 30 points behind. The championship is still really long.”
That also means Marquez won't be changing his attacking style, described as ”all-or-nothing” by Rossi after their penultimate-lap clash in Argentina.
“Of course I always have the same style. Step-by-step I understand a little bit more that sometimes it is better to take 20 points. But my style is always to give 100%,” Marquez declared. “What happened in Argentina, happened, but I think it was not a mistake. Just something that happens sometimes in races and this time I was unlucky.
“I don't think we need to change the strategy because these three races, okay we are 30 points behind, but we were at a very good level. The feeling is really good with the bike. We were fighting for the victory. Qatar I did the mistake, but in Argentina I was fighting there.
“So we will not change nothing. The same mentality. Keep focus and give my 100% every lap.”
While Marquez is riding injured this weekend, team-mate Dani Pedrosa will miss a third race in succession as he recovers from arm-pump surgery.
“Of course I hope that Dani comes back soon because Dani is important inside the team,” Marquez said. “But for help or not in the championship, you never know this. Because yeah you can think maybe you can [put Pedrosa] between your rivals, but sometimes it can be the opposite. He can be between you and the first guys. This you never know, but of course Dani is important to the team.”
Marquez won last year's Spanish Grand prix by 1.4s from Rossi, part of a perfect ten-race win streak on the way to his second MotoGP title.
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