Sidelined for three rounds by the thumb fracture in Portimao, which also kept him off any form of motorcycle for a month and a half, Marquez instantly resumed his usual top Honda role at Le Mans.

Second on the grid became a close fifth in the Sprint race, before Marquez grabbed the early lead of the grand prix.

“Marquez was absolutely brilliant,” said former British champion and grand prix rider Huewen.

Bagnaia-Vinales Clash: Racing Incident? Le Mans Review | Crash MotoGP Podcast Episode 89

“First race back and he's at the front on that Honda and pushing like I don’t know what - the guy obviously has a major disconnect between racing and pain! He's an incredible individual."

Defying physical fatigue, the eight-time world champion fended off Pramac Ducati’s Jorge Martin for second place until falling from his Repsol Honda on the penultimate lap.

Huewen insisted Marquez can still take a lot of positives out of the French weekend: “Massively. How can you be out for as long as he has and then be in that position on a bike that is 100% not favoured?

“But Le Mans is an odd track. The track temperature and the kind of corners, sometimes the left-handers can easily catch you out, and it’s a track where you are going to be fighting for grip at some stage.

“I think that’s where Marc outdoes everyone else, because almost every one of his slides would be a crash for most people.

“He had the Kalex chassis this weekend - it’s hard to keep up with who is on what chassis at Honda at the moment! - but it still looked like Marquez was having to work ten times harder than everyone else out there.”

With team-mate Joan Mir (on the Kalex) and LCR’s Alex Rins also crashing out, the only Honda to finish the French Grand Prix was Takaaki Nakagami, in ninth.

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