Ahead of his first MotoGP outing of 2019 Marc Marquez has admitted the recent surgery performed on an injured left shoulder was “more complicated than expected” and revealed doctors’ prognosis of a recovery time is as long as four months.

The reigning world champion remains confident of testing for three days at Sepang at the beginning of February, even if it will require a more patient, cautious approach to ensure the safety of the joint.

The 25-year old admitted this has been “one of the most boring winters of my life” at Repsol Honda’s official team presentation in Madrid, as he battled severe post-operation pain in the joint while embarking on a lengthy period of recovery.

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An all-action approach, which excels in short, sharp changes of direction, requires tremendous upper body strength – a facet he is obviously lacking at this current time. But Marquez stressed, “the shoulder is going in a good way” as he approaches the half-way mark of the prescribed recovery time. 

“Obviously the shoulder will not be 100 percent in Sepang,” the seven-time champion said. “But my target is try to be 100 percent or as close as possible in Qatar GP. But the surgery has been more aggressive and more difficult than we expected. I was in surgery for four hours, because it was more complicated than even the doctors expected.

“But anyway they already say that minimum will be three to four months, but I'm working quite hard, we are already one month and a half and the shoulder is going in a good way so this is the most important.

“How it will be in Sepang I don’t know. I have two weeks and now it's good because every day I feel some improvement. Every day is better and better, but of course about the physical condition – because Sepang's one of the most difficult circuits – that will be the most difficult thing.”

This isn’t the first occasion during which the Catalan has been involved in a frantic fight against the close to regain his fitness before the season curtain-raiser; in 2012 he faced uncertainty while recovering from an eye injury that seriously threatened his sight.

More recently he broke his lower right leg in February, 2014, just over a month before that particular year got underway. Not that it did his performances any harm: the then 21-year old stormed to ten straight victories in the first ten races.

This occasion is different, however. The surgery performed at the beginning of December was more complicated. And the healing of this particular joint needs to be treated as such, with a delicacy that one would not normally associate with Marquez’s usual approach.

“Of course in 2014 I had a difficult pre-season too because I got injured after the first test and I was out for one month and a half before the first race but then that season was the best one for me,” he said.

“This is completely different for me as it was a big surgery on the shoulder which I had struggled with all last year. Now I feel more fixed but at the moment I don’t have the power or the stability that I want.

“It is normal though, I told the doctors I want to be fast on the recovery but the doctors said the body is the body. It is different for you and for me. This is the thing, we are working in the best way to be 100%.

“But I think it will be important to start slowly because I don’t want to repeat it again. I don’t want to have a small crash and be in the same situation again so I need to be patient. Tests I will have more of but my shoulder I only have one so step-by-step.”

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