Marc Marquez says he’ll be operating at ‘60%, 70%’ for the Sepang pre-season test as he continues to recover from shoulder surgery with his rehabilitation taking longer than expected.

Last week, Marquez outlined his recovery programme and was keen to get on some kind of motorcycle to train before heading to Malaysia for the first pre-season test of 2020.

The reigning MotoGP world champion has posted pictures of himself in a Fernando Alonso-branded kart on social media and since then a series of rehabilitation images and videos have followed.

Despite the “less aggressive nature” of Marquez’s right shoulder surgery compared to the same operation he underwent on his left shoulder 12 months before, work to his shoulder nerves have slowed his expected progress.

As a result, Marquez has already accepted he’s behind his 2018 recovery curve and with the Sepang test (February 7-9) fast-approaching the Spaniard is expecting to need to modify his test programme with the 2020-specificaiton RC213V.

“Of course the shoulder at the moment is not in the perfect condition, I would like it to be in a better condition,” Marquez said at the Mundo Deportivo awards where he picked up best athlete for 2019.

“The recovery is going in a good way and it is true that it is a little bit slower than the last one, the previous year, because the left shoulder surgery was more complicated and more aggressive but the recovery was in a different way.

“This one is a little bit slower but we are working hard to arrive, not 100% but a minimum of 70%, 60% for the Malaysia test but the final goal is to try to be at 100% for the Qatar race. That will be not sure but we are on the way.”

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Esta siendo una recuperación larga pero seguimos trabajando!  It’s being a long recovery but we keep working! @fisiocarlosjgarcia

A post shared by Marc Márquez (@marcmarquez93) on

Marquez underwent his right shoulder operation on November 27 and following the surgery Dr Mir predicted two-month recovery – but also warned he wouldn’t be 100% fit for the Sepang test.

Last year the eight-time world champion conceded he wasn’t fully fit until after the opening race in Qatar, where he fought Andrea Dovizioso for victory, before securing his first win of the season in Argentina at the following round.

While Marquez is bracing for a tough recovery period during testing, the injury didn’t appear to halt his momentum during the end of the 2019 campaign as he stormed to the world title by winning six of the final seven rounds and almost single-handedly secured Honda’s Triple Crown.

The Repsol Honda rider had been struggling with his shoulder injury since ‘before Motegi’ and triggered a partial dislocation when he high-sided off trying to stalk Fabio Quartararo in qualifying at Sepang.

Despite his concerns, Marquez is anticipating a familiar situation to last year as he needs to lead Honda’s early development while balancing his recovery.

12 months ago, new Repsol Honda team-mate Jorge Lorenzo was absent from the Sepang test through injury which stalled his adaptation at Honda. This year, Marquez’s new team-mate is his younger brother Alex Marquez who will primarily focus on adapting to both MotoGP and the RC213V following initial tests at Valencia and Jerez last November.

“Last year Jorge Lorenzo was injured and so it fell to me to evolve the bike,” Marquez said last week. “Now the dynamic is the same because my team-mate is Alex and he’s a rookie and cannot ask much when it comes to concepts of the bike because – like Jorge Lorenzo – he has to understand the bike and know how is a Honda.

“There is also [LCR Honda's] Cal Crutchlow who is very capable to also have a second opinion of the development.

“I think the test in Malaysia will be like last year; I won’t be able to do all the laps I want but it will help to work on the shoulder as well.”

Marquez is joined by LCR Honda’s Takaaki Nakagami and Tech3 KTM’s Miguel Oliveira in a race for fitness following shoulder surgery.

Due to the extent of Nakagami’s injury, he opted to miss the final three rounds and post-season tests to have surgery on October 29. A week later Oliveira also opted for shoulder surgery, which took place on November 3, meaning the Portuguese rider missed the 2019 finale in Valencia and post-season tests.

Marquez’s next official outing is at the Repsol Honda MotoGP team launch in Jakarta on February 4 before the Sepang pre-season test which starts three days later.

 

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