One year after wrapping up the MotoGP championship in Japan, Marc Marquez returns with his 2015 title chances all but over and nursing a new hand injury.
Marquez's hopes of a perfect third title have been wiped away by five race falls, the latest of which occurred on the second lap at Aragon.
Just days later, the Repsol Honda star broke his hand in a mountain bike accident. Surgery was required and, given the short amount of healing time, the Spaniard will obviously be at less than 100% fitness this weekend.
"Aragon was a tough race and I made a mistake, now I'm eager to get to Japan and try to end the season at the top,” Marquez said.
“Unfortunately last week I had a training accident whilst mountain biking and suffered a fracture in my left hand. I had an operation on Wednesday and have been resting it since. I'm healing well and hope to be as fit as possible for this weekend.
“Track conditions in Motegi can vary quite a lot and we will work hard on the set up in terms of the hard acceleration and braking in order to be at the front come Sunday. I hope we can have a good result in front of Honda's home fans!"
Marquez was expected to challenge Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo at each of the remaining four rounds, adding a further uncertainty to the championship battle between the Yamaha riders.
The #93 finished between Lorenzo and Rossi in last Motegi year's race, which is again the first of three events in three weekends.
Despite his accidents, Marquez has managed to win four races so far this season, the same number as title leader Rossi.