After missing three events with a broken thumb from Portimao, which kept him off any kind of motorcycle for seven weeks, Marquez promptly put his RCV and new Kalex chassis second on the grid (the only Honda in the top 13).

The eight-time world champion then battled for a podium in both races, a fifth place on Saturday being followed by the early lead of the Sunday grand prix. Marquez was still defending second place, behind Marco Bezzecchi, as the penultimate lap began, but was left pointless when he lost the front and fell.

“I was riding in a very good way. It was a long time since I felt like this,” Marquez said. “Not with the bike, myself, I was riding well.

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“I was going into the corner with some slide, I was braking late, I was able to fight against the other riders. And I'm happy about that.

"Of course I'm unhappy about the result, but maybe the only problem was that the podium was close, and maybe I was not ready to fight for the podium. But anyway, I prefer to lose a race like this and not finish in tenth position.”

The 30-year-old added: “It was a really good weekend to grow my confidence. Because when you are in a difficult moment, it's difficult to believe in yourself.

“It was the best [thing] to race again before these three weeks off, to say I'm there, the speed is there, I feel fast, I can overtake, and I can fight.

“Then it's more difficult to fight with this bike, but we will improve [the bike] for the future.”

Marquez's physical fitness is also sure to improve by next month’s Mugello round.

“When I got up [on Sunday], I felt like the third day in Malaysia [test]! Because it was a month and a half [without] riding a bike and I was not training well. So I was tired.

“The first part of the race, Miller was in front and for me was perfect, because the pace was not very fast. But then when I had that moment with Bezzecchi [pushed wide], then I came back, I used a lot of energy, because the bike was shaking a lot. But it's the only way to ride the Honda.

“And then in the last 6, 7 laps I started to have some arm pump, [just because] I was tired not because I have problems with arm pump. My body didn't follow the pace. But even like this, I was able to defend well.

“Unlucky is that I went wide a bit in Turn 7 when Jorge overtook me [and fell], and the main reason was the podium was there, and Zarco was there.

“When you are thinking ‘he will overtake me in the straight’ you try to attack more in the corners, and in the last two laps with used tyres, I lost the front. But OK. Experience, and the most positive for me is that I did [almost] all the race.”

Team-mate Joan Mir and LCR’s Alex Rins also crashed out, with Takaaki Nakagami in ninth the only Honda rider to reach the finish.