Marc Marquez is thought to have suffered a partial shoulder dislocation when he fell on the opening lap of qualifying for the Valencia MotoGP season finale.

Visibly in pain as he returned to the paddock, the Repsol Honda rider gritted his teeth and, after a medical check, returned to claim fifth on the grid!

Marquez had lost the front of his RCV at Turn 4, landing on his frequently damaged shoulder - most recently dislocated as he celebrated his fifth MotoGP title triumph with Scott Redding at Motegi - when he bounced through the gravel.

"I knew since Motegi the shoulder is not so good. Even last week I had a few troubles with it [in training] and I'm not 100%," Marquez said. "But today I was unlucky because I was not pushing, just maybe the tyre was not up to the correct temperature.

"I lost the front and then when I arrived in the gravel I felt something strange in the shoulder.

"It was different to Japan because then I needed help from my mates [to put the shoulder back in] and today - of course I felt something strange - but then I tried to move and felt a small 'crack', but that was it.

"So maybe it was a 'subluxation' [partial dislocation]. If you have a [full dislocation] you are not able to ride the bike immediately.

"The doctor arrived and we did a check, because it's the most important in this case. It was okay, I was ready to ride, but it was painful because already for several weeks the injury is there."

Given the pain, Marquez was happy to settle for fifth on the grid.

"In this case it was impossible to forget the pain. I did just two flying laps and stopped in the box because it was enough. I said 'okay, I don’t want pole position, I just want a time to be on the front two rows'.

"I think it was even better than I expected because the pain was there, but the most important is that I was ready to ride the bike - as we see because the lap times were fast."

Despite his qualifying heroics, Marquez knows he faces a gruelling race on Sunday and that the shoulder - which has been braced by tape "for the past six races" - can only be cured by surgery in December.

"Now it's important to work in a good way with the physio to be, not 100% tomorrow, but to be ready for the race," Marquez said.

"Since Motegi, the problem is that I didn't stop. I rode in Phillip Island, in Malaysia… The injury is always there and it's something you can only fix with surgery.

"Then last week training a little bit, not with the bike, I felt some strange movement and again the pain.

"It was not a complete [dislocation] but it was a very strange movement and then it's like an injury that is always there. You need to stop. So I will stop in December, but now I can't.

"The good thing is that the muscles are really good and if I don’t have a strong impact, the shoulder is there. Of course, if it feels unstable, I would not be here. I'd stay at home because everything [the world title] is done.

"But I feel like riding the bike is okay. Always some pain, but I feel safe.

"So it's lucky we are at the last race and we have only a few tests - Valencia and Jerez - before surgery in December."

While qualifying took place on an almost fully dry track, heavy rain is forecast to return to Valencia tomorrow.

"If it's dry or wet I feel ready to fight for the podium. Then we will see. Of course I will try to finish the race in the best position," Marquez said.

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