Marc Marquez will make his long anticipated MotoGP return tomorrow during FP1, and has ‘butterflies in the stomach’, that he says are ‘not normally’ the case. 

The 2021 MotoGP season has gotten off to a thrilling start in Qatar, with two different winners and a first time championship leader. 

However, the grid is now complete once again, as six-time premier class world champion Marquez is back in the fold. 

As expected, the Repsol Honda rider was the main focus during today’s Official Portuguese Grand Prix press conference, and speaking about his return, Marquez said: "Of course it’s really nice to be back and be here with all of you because it was nine months away that was really hard, really difficult. 

"Tomorrow it is time to make the most important step in my rehabilitation which is riding again a MotoGP bike. It is true that I’m nervous. 

"I’m nervous, and I have some butterflies in the stomach that are not normal in me. But I know that after FP1 this will be gone, and now is time to enjoy being on the bike again. 

"I will be not be the same Marc from FP1; I will need time because I’m still in my rehabilitation, and there are two different things. 

"One is the physical side and the other is the mental side. But I’m really happy to be here and to ride again my bike."

The time away for Marquez is by far the longest stretch without competitive racing in his career to date. 

But while the 28 year-old had ‘doubts’ about ever racing again, he stated that those close to him, and his optimistic mindset were the things that helped him the most during the time away. 

"It was really difficult to take the decision not to race in Qatar one and Qatar two, because I feel ready, but not 100%, so the doctors decided to stop me and of course I just followed their advice," said Marquez.

"But it was a hard nine months with the doubt. No just the doubts whether I will ride again, but also the doubts about if I will have a normal arm again. 

"I was always optimistic, and this was the key point. Especially the people around me helped a lot to keep the motivation and have the target to ride a bike again."

Marquez will be returning to a Honda bike that has struggled mightily in his absence. 

Pol Espargaro is the highest placed Honda rider in the championship on 11 points, but since Marquez suffered his season ending injury in 2020, Repsol Honda have only accumulated two podiums, which came from Alex Marquez at Le Mans and Aragon. 

Speaking about Honda’s difficulties without him, Marquez added: "Honda is obviously not in the best situation. I already speak with the Japanese staff and they are working really hard to understand where is the problem. 

"Because in the end the main target is to find a bike compromise that all the riders can be fast or have a good level. 

"Honda have really good riders like Pol Espargaro, that already achieved great results with KTM, Nakagami who has already many years with the MotoGP bike, and my brother who is a champion of Moto2. 

"So the riders are there, but still they are struggling in the same points from when I left the bike which are to understand the confidence on the front tyre, to crash less and find the limit. All these areas they are working really hard to address."

 

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