Marc Marquez made an impressive return to MotoGP following nine months away on Sunday as he finished seventh at Portimao. 

Having made a great start from sixth up to third on the opening lap, Marquez stayed on the outskirts of the front group for much of the race, before finishing in seventh place, 13 seconds down on race winner Fabio Quartararo

The eight-time world champion was also the top Honda rider, and while the images following the race showed just how much his return meant to him with an outpouring of emotion, it was also a big weekend for Honda to get their star rider back. 

When speaking about what the return meant to Marquez and the team, HRC Director Tetsuhiro Kuwata said: "We have seen Marc again on the bike, it’s been his and our main goal over the past months. 

"This is the most positive point of the weekend and maybe of the year so far. He has done a great job starting in sixth position, and finishing seventh only 13 seconds behind the winner. 

"We know how hard it has been for him and the value of this weekend to him, to the team, to Honda and to fans of MotoGP. 

"We were so excited to see Marc for the first time this year and we had no doubt about his approach to the race. 

"He started fighting, trying to stay in front, but for sure he felt tired and finally he finished and earned nine championship points which will be very useful."

Having not completed 25 consecutive laps before Sunday’s race, it was uncertain as to how the Spaniard would ultimately fare as the race went on. 

But Marquez was able to increase his pace at different stages and remain consistent throughout - therefore effectively keeping enough strength in his right arm. 

Speaking about the strategy going into the race, Kuwata said: "The strategy with Marc Márquez was to try and make a good start and keep his strength for the end of the race. We knew it would be a very long race for him after a lot of time without racing. 

"He did a great job, a massive effort during all of the 25 laps of the race. We are so proud of him."



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