Not much was expected from Honda following difficult pre-season tests in Sepang and Portimao, however, that didn’t stop Marquez from starting the 2023 MotoGP season in perfect style.

The Repsol Honda rider claimed pole position following a stunning effort late in Q2 at Portimao, before going on to take a podium in the Sprint race.

But that was as good as it got for Marquez, after the Spaniard made a huge error under braking on lap three of the Grand Prix that resulted in him taking out Miguel Oliveira, while causing injury to both riders.

Both riders missed last weekend’s Argentina MotoGP, which was a weekend that saw changeable conditions throughout it, something both Marquez and Oliveira specialise in. 

What looked like a very promising start to the season has since turned to disaster for Marquez, who’s return date is unconfirmed as of now. 

Heading into the last two seasons Marquez was less than 100% fit, but with his latest shoulder surgery after Mugello last season leading to him making a full recovery, the eight-time world champion appeared primed for his best campaign since 2019. 

Of course, Marquez could make his return at COTA and shock us by winning at a circuit where he's enjoyed huge amounts of success.

But the cracks have already appeared when it relates to suffering another injury and making mistakes whilst on-track. 

Another key component adding to this being arguably the worst start to a season for Marquez despite pole and a podium already being secured, is that with two new riders in Joan Mir and Alex Rins joining the Japanese manufacturer, Marquez being fit and fast was always going to be key in pushing Honda back to the front of the grid.

Marquez has been fast, yes, but Honda needed consistent performances and consistent feedback from their star rider with regards to how the latest RC213V is performing, two things that have failed to materialise. 

The 30-year-old has this season and next remaining on his Honda contract, and while there is no urgency from the team to move on as Marquez remains incredibly quick when at his best, the latter could be in favour of doing just that. 

Marquez shared his excitement over social media when brother Alex Marquez secured a podium in Argentina, and while the two Spaniards share a close bond, seeing his younger brother, who has never shown the same level of pace and ability deliver results like said podium and a pole position of his own last Saturday, could also be playing on his mind.

Marquez has likely missed his chance of moving to Ducati, and had it not been for wanting to continue his relationship with Honda despite the Japanese brand often supplying him with a bike that was hard to ride, then Marc, not Alex could have been the one taking profit of Ducati being the manufacturer to beat.