The Thai MotoGP this weekend means Marquez will have the minimum possible turnaround, after completing his first race since another major arm surgery.

The eight-time world champion qualified in pole position in Motegi, then finished fourth while overtaking Miguel Oliveira on the last lap, in a stunning demonstration of his strength and grit.

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He had missed eight races of this season due to a fourth operation which rotated his bone, and his ongoing recovery called into question whether he could cope with the physical demands of a full race in the premier class.

“[Sunday] was the first day that I felt pain in the shoulder,” he told BT Sport.

“Let’s see how the recovery of that arm will be.

“I was delayed [doing TV interviews] because I was on the ice already! Trying to take care.

“I will have to take painkillers tonight. I rode with painkillers just to keep the pain down.

“I have three days to recover well, but I don’t think it will be a problem.”

Marquez was 7.7s behind race winner Jack Miller in Japan, and is still the most successful Honda rider of an abject season for the team despite missing so many races.

He said: “I am really happy about the weekend. From Friday to Sunday we made good steps and were at a solid pace.

“The race distance? I expected much worse.

“I am riding in a strange style, a strange position, but I was able to keep going at a good pace so I am happy.

“I was struggling only in a few points in the circuit. I was able to attack Oliveira at the end.

“It was not an amazing result if you look at the MotoGP standings, but it is an amazing result from where we were coming.”