Marc Marquez is facing a race against time to be fit for the opening pre-season MotoGP test in Sepang as his recovery from shoulder surgery hasn’t gone to schedule.

The reigning MotoGP world champion underwent a shoulder operation for the second consecutive winter, this time on his right shoulder, having battled with the injury towards the end of the 2019 season.

After suffering a partial dislocation of his right shoulder at the Jerez test, Repsol Honda confirmed the 26-year-old required a similar surgery to what he underwent 12 months previous but it had been expected to be less invasive and therefore require a shorter recovery period. Marquez underwent a successful surgery on November 27 at the Hospital Universitari Dexeus-Quiron in Barcelona.

But speaking at the Catalan spots gala, Marquez confirmed his recovery hasn’t been easier compared to his previous surgery.

“I would like the rehabilitation to proceed better because it is more complicated than expected,” Marquez said. “Last year I underwent surgery on my left shoulder and the rehabilitation was different: this time it seemed easier and faster, but it is not.

“I hope to succeed to get back in shape and to be able to participate in the first test of the season in Malaysia.”

Marquez’s next official appearance will be at the Repsol Honda team launch in Jakarta on February 4, alongside his brother and new team-mate Alex Marquez, before the team heads to Sepang for the official test on February 7-9.

At last year’s Sepang test, Marquez needed to restrain his track action to avoid aggravating his recently operated shoulder and a similar plan is expected if he isn’t fully fit for the test.

But the injury won’t stop Marquez from helping his younger brother adapt to MotoGP having graduated as Moto2 world champion after the dramatic retirement of Jorge Lorenzo at the end of 2019.

“I can give him the right advice, but we know how to distinguish the family aspect and the professional side well,” he said.

“We will have to separate the two things, everyone will work on their own and thinking about their interests, even if at home we will try to help each other for our goals.”

After the Sepang test, Marquez will two more weeks to recover before the final pre-season test at Qatar’s Losail International Circuit on February 22-24. Qatar then hosts the 2020 MotoGP opening race on March 8.

Marquez is one of three MotoGP riders recovering from shoulder injuries this winter, along with LCR Honda’s Takaaki Nakagami and Tech3 KTM’s Miguel Oliveira.