'Very happy' - Marc Marquez announces MotoGP return

Eight-time world champion Marc Marquez will be back in MotoGP action at this weekend's COTA round in Austin, Texas.
Marc Marquez
Marc Marquez

After missing the Mandalika race due to concussion suffered in a massive warm-up highside, his fourth fall of a punishing Indonesian event, Marquez was later diagnosed with another episode of diplopia, forcing him to miss last weekend's Argentine round.

The double-vision problem previously kept Marquez off any kind of motorcycle for almost three months, from last October to mid-January.

Fortunately, the nerve damage to his right eye was less severe on this occasion and, after confirming no vision issues during a track test with a CBR600RR at Alcarras on Tuesday, Marquez will now return to action for Repsol Honda at one of his most successful circuits.

The decision has been taken 'after consultation and clearance from his medical team'.

“Of course I am very happy to be back, it’s a great feeling to return and especially to do it at one of my favourite tracks. No matter the situation, I really enjoy riding in Texas and have incredible memories there," Marquez said.

"We have some work to do after missing two races and the whole Argentina weekend so I am not here to set one target at the moment. There’s many things to do and consider, but the important thing is that we are back on the bike this weekend.”

Marquez has taken victory in all but one race (falling from the lead in 2019) held at COTA since the Texan circuit's debut on the MotoGP calendar in 2013.

Due to bumps, the track has been partially resurfaced since Marquez's seventh victory in last October's event.

A run of three different winners and nine podium finishers means Aprilia's Aleix Espargaro currently leads the early world championship standings with a score of just 45 (out of a possible 75) points. 

For comparison, eventual champion Fabio Quartararo had scored 61 points after three rounds last season.

Marquez currently has 11 points for a fifth place in the Qatar season-opener. 18 races and a potential 450 points remain.

Injuries have prevented Marquez completing a full MotoGP season since winning his sixth premier-class crown with ease in 2019, lengthly complications from a broken arm at Jerez 2020 being followed by the late-2021 diplopia (after an enduro training accident) and now the Mandalika highside.

Marquez first suffered diplopia due to an accident at Sepang in 2011, costing him the chance to fight Stefan Bradl for the Moto2 title at the Valencia finale. Bradl, now a HRC test rider, replaced Marquez in Argentina.

Team-mate Pol Espargaro is currently the top Honda rider in the world championship, holding tenth place (20 points) and having taken the new RC213V's only podium to date with third at Lusail.

"Already it looks like there will be many people in the mix for the championship this year so we need to get back to scoring points and putting together weekends like the start of the year," said Espargaro, who fell from fourth place in the Termas race. "It’s time to get some more points on the board and start building something.”

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