Keith Huewen: Marc Marquez is done if fourth operation doesn’t go right

With his MotoGP career hanging in the balance, Keith Huewen believes Marc Marquez will call it quits if his fourth right arm operation since 2020 fails to deliver the required results.
Marc Marquez, Honda MotoGP Mugello
Marc Marquez, Honda MotoGP Mugello

After another super-human effort in Mugello, the six-time MotoGP world champion travelled to the United States earlier this week in order to have a fourth operation on his right arm. 

This comes 18 months since the last operation took place, an operation which allowed Marquez to compete at a high level as he claimed three victories in 2021. However, those successful moments were still overshadowed by the physical limitations he was facing, which have been all-too prominent in 2022. 

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Marquez, who is yet to claim a podium so far this season, confirmed after qualifying for the Italian MotoGP that he’s opted to put his recovery in focus, meaning a step back from MotoGP will now take place - a timeframe for his return is unknown at this stage. 

Fourth operation the ‘right decision’ says Huewen, but if it does not work ‘he’s done’ 

While last Sunday’s race was a fascinating one, the day was once again dominated by Marquez’s future. 

With the Repsol Honda rider undergoing a fourth right arm operation in less than two years, his eventual return is likely to yield one of two outcomes.

Either he returns ready to fight for world titles or retirement takes place, which is exactly what former Grand Prix racer and British champion Huewen stated on this week’s MotoGP podcast. 

"29 years old. Eight grand prix World Championships behind him. An injury that isn't right. He isn't able to ride the bike how he wants to ride. And that makes a massive difference to a man that rides a motorcycle like no one else rides a motorcycle," said Huewen. 

Marc Marquez, Italian MotoGP, 28 May
Marc Marquez, Italian MotoGP, 28 May

"It’s the right decision but if it doesn’t go right then he’s done. I think Marc Marquez is on the very cusp of ending his career, and he should if that’s the situation. 

"We’ve said it every week on this podcast - you can’t keep crashing the way that he does otherwise you won’t have a future in life, let alone in anything else. He’s only there to win in MotoGP, win world titles, he’s not interested in finishing in the top. 

"That’s not what he aspires to. I think this is the last chance!"

As mentioned above, Marquez has still had success despite riding at less than 100% over the last year or so. In fact, only Fabio Quartararo and Francesco Bagnaia have won more races in that time frame - Enea Bastianini has three, the same number as Marquez.  

But for Marquez, a rider who is determined to win every race no matter the cost, finishing fifth, sixth or tenth - has been largely the case so far in 2022, then it’s clear that something is not right.

"They’ve clearly been looking at this operation for a long time," Huewen continued. "He’s done the best that he can do with the equipment he has; both bike and physically. 

"He’s a clever lad, he’s not an idiot, he’s not mad like everyone might say because of the way he rides, it’s all calculated. 

"If this [operation] doesn’t work out then this will be the end of Marc Marquez’s career. The fact he’s taken this [decision] at this point; even if it takes all year and he doesn’t come back this year then that’s fine too. 

"I’m not saying we’re going to find out until he gets back on a bike, but we’re not going to know until he gets back on a MotoGP bike and starts testing. Maybe that won’t be until the Valencia test at the end of the season. This operation is the last throw of the dice. 

"His mindset right now is all-or-nothing, a bit like his riding. It’s a situation where he will make that call. He’s had enough of trying with the injury he has. Now it’s either fix it or get rid of it."

Fellow MotoGP riders show support for Marquez!  

Despite Marquez sometimes making enemies with the way he races or attempts to get in the head of other riders - a good example of this is waiting for a tow which has been a big part of his mindset during qualifying of late - the cool-down lap in Mugello was a brilliant show of class from those around him.


Riders such as Maverick Vinales and Aleix Espargaro, both of whom have had their fair share of heated moments with the Spaniard, pulled up alongside the eight-time world champion to show support, as did Miguel Oliveira, Fabio Di Giannantonio and others. 

Like many of us, Huewen thought it was a brilliant moment: "What a remarkable outpouring on the slow-down lap though. Have you ever seen anything like that? 

"Every single rider that was in the vicinity of Marc Marquez was patting him on the back, giving him fist pumps. 

"As you might have guessed, I’m not an emotional man and outwardly, but I felt quite emotional about that. Every competitor was feeling it for him.” 

"Every competitor knows what he’s gone through and every competitor feels the pain. I don’t know how he’s able to even ride the way he does given the pain he must have."

Download Episode 48 at the following links...

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