What makes Marc Marquez so special at comebacks?

A look at some of the key factors that lead to six-time MotoGP champion Marc Marquez achieving such monumental fightbacks when put in difficult race positions.
Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda MotoGP Austin
Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda MotoGP Austin

As if Marquez had not delivered enough stunning comebacks throughout his professional career, last weekend’s American MotoGP was the latest instalment. 

Starting ninth on the grid in what was a race he clearly had the pace to win, Marquez immediately hit trouble after a technical issue resulted in him getting off the line slowly, thus dropping to last by turn one. 

But in a swift bid to create another moment of greatness, Marquez overtook ten riders in just three laps, something that’s unthinkable, not only in professional racing, but more importantly in MotoGP which is at an all-time high in terms of competitiveness. 

Marquez continued to build on his fightback as moves ensued on the likes of Maverick Vinales, Brad Binder, Aleix Espargaro and team-mate Pol Espargaro. 

While progress appeared as if it might stop there, Marquez sent yet another message of intent as he swiftly closed up before making his way past Johann Zarco, reigning world champion Fabio Quartararo and Jorge Martin. 

Marquez then began closing in rapidly on Francesco Bagnaia, but the Repsol Honda rider ultimately ran out of laps as he came home for a brilliant six place finish. 

This was Marquez’s first real comeback performance since returning from injury in 2021. 

Race start, Marc Marquez last, MotoGP race, Grand Prix of the Americas, 10 April
Race start, Marc Marquez last, MotoGP race, Grand Prix of the Americas, 10…

The last one to take place was at the same track where he suffered his worst injury yet to date, that of course being Jerez 2020. 

On that day, Marquez led during the early stages before producing a trademark save, something he’s failed to do ever since his broken shoulder. 

His mistake dropped him down to 19th place before a miraculous effort saw him continuously pick off one, sometimes two, riders per lap. 

Marquez made his way back to third, and with Vinales just a couple of tenths ahead, P2 was there to be had. 

But as was the case in Austin, albeit to a much lesser extent, Marquez ran out of rear tyre before being launched over the top and into the gravel at turn three. 

Even though Marquez failed to finish that race, and as we know his career has changed somewhat drastically since then, Marquez once again showed he could do things that nobody else could. 

While Marquez has won races since his comeback in 2021, speaking in an interview earlier this year, the eight-time world champion recalled the feeling he had during the 2020 Jerez Grand Prix, which he called ‘so sweet’ despite what happened.

Marquez said: "To choose one good memory is the feeling I had on the Jerez race. It was amazing! Okay, we finished in the gravel but it was one of my best races and best performances of my career. 

"After the mistake, going in the gravel and then fighting for the second position; my performance, my feeling on the bike was so sweet. Of course, then arrived the crash, but this can happen."

But what makes Marquez so good at MotoGP comebacks?

Aside from the obvious being he is Marc Marquez! A unique talent that has repeatedly shown an ability to deliver such impressive performances, understanding his and the bike’s capabilities on any given day play a significant factor. 

Of course, Marquez doesn’t have the pace to win every race, but when faced with a situation like this, the Spaniard seems to dig deeper and find another level, similar to what we saw from Lewis Hamilton at the Brazilian Grand Prix last season. 

Willingness to go above and beyond the limit!

While Marquez has always shown a ruthless edge to his racing - has sometimes gone too far - to produce the type of comebacks like he has arguably requires a level of fealessness and drive that only the best of the best have. 

Especially in a time where MotoGP is so ultra competitive, to be able to find such pace and along with that, produce overtake after overtake which is of course a skill, but it also requires a mindset switch. 

Marc Marquez , Grand Prix Of The Americas, 9 April
Marc Marquez , Grand Prix Of The Americas, 9 April

To ride with no fear and forget about all potential dangers takes an impressive individual, and one who is not shy in going well beyond the limit. 


Throughout his career Marquez has built one of the biggest and strongest teams around him, which has been key to his success, but also coming back from failures. 

Sharing a garage with the same crew has allowed Marquez to fully understand what is capable from his bike with regards to potential, tyre drop off, grip and so on, while he’s also been aboard a Honda for the entirety of his MotoGP career, thus knowing the ins and outs of his RC213V, even if this year’s package is a complete revolutionised one. 

Even when grip was decreasing in Austin, Marquez went on to set a new all-time race lap record, moments before Enea Bastianini did so himself. 

But after pushing from lap one until lap 20, to be able to set fastest laps with over half race distance complete was something that again can only come with experience, feel and knowledge of what’s capable between himself and the bike.

While a large extent of his comeback rides have been MotoGP dominated, Marquez began this current trend during his 125cc and Moto2 career, demonstrating that it's not always about having the best bike, but instead who’s shifting gears, twisting the throttle and applying the brakes.

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