Marquez, likely exhausted in his first full-length outing since the season-opener due to recovering from a hand surgery, lost the front of his Honda on the penultimate lap, while Jorge Martin overtook him.

He had previously offered a reminder of his brilliance by passing Francesco Bagnaia to take an early lead.

We Could Lose Yamaha AND Honda feat. Jeremy McWilliams | Crash MotoGP Podcast Episode 88

Was Marquez’s efforts in Le Mans enough to remind his rivals that he is officially back in business?

“I enjoyed it a lot,” he smiled. “It was one of my better races, a long time ago.

“It’s true that I crashed, but I enjoyed it a lot, I was riding well and felt well with the bike.

“It’s true that I was losing where we were losing - in the straights, top speed, acceleration, in the traction area.

“But we were riding in a very good way. This was very, very important.

It’s a shame that, in the end, after all that work we didn’t receive a good result.

“But we showed to everybody that we are there.

“Now it’s time to analyse, to keep working, and to be better in Mugello.”

Asked if he had any regrets, he said: “No, no. I’m happy. It’s true that I would like to finish the race.

“But with the tools we have, it’s difficult, for the moment, to fight for those positions.

“I saw that I was able to do it, but not in the best way.

“We have to fight in that position with less risk.

“So we have to work together with the team.”

Marquez was racing for the first time since Portimao, the first round of 2023, when he crashed into Miguel Oliveira causing injuries to both men.

Finishing pointless from the French MotoGP’s full-length race on Sunday means he is now 82 points behind championship-leader Bagnaia.

He rode with Honda’s new Kalex chassis for the first time at Le Mans, a reason to emerge with optimism.