Retired five-time world champion Jorge Lorenzo has praised former Repsol Honda team-mate Marc Marquez's MotoGP comeback at Portimao.

After nine months and three rounds of surgery due to complications with a broken right arm, Marquez finally made his return at round 3 of this season.

Despite the long layoff, Marquez was third fastest in opening practice, before going on to qualify sixth and finish the race in seventh.

Although he had several scares as he readjusted to MotoGP, Marquez was also the only Honda rider not to fall all weekend.

"About Marc Marquez, more than his speed, I was even more surprised by his return, after nine months from a super complicated injury, possibly the longest injury in motorcycle history, and he has returned to race MotoGP without any fear of hurting himself again, having scares and taking risks to achieve an incredible result... he is from another planet," Lorenzo said during his 99 Seconds You Tube show.

"It may take a while until he is back to being the top Marquez of 2019 and there are also new younger rivals, such as Quartararo at 21, Mir at 22, Bagnaia 24. But I have no doubt that Marc will win races and fight for the world championship again, perhaps this one as well.

"I'm not giving him a 10 [out of 10 for Portimao, which Lorenzo awarded to race winner Fabio Quartararo] because after Friday maybe an even better result than seventh was expected, but he completely did what he had to do.

"He went through a difficult situation with the arm, which was still not 100 percent, and in the next race there will be less risk of re-injuring the arm. I have no doubt that it is only a matter of time and physical condition to see the best Marc again."

Lorenzo also addressed the number of lowside falls seen in Portimao, in particular the accident for rookie Jorge Martin, who suffered hand and leg fractures after being flipped into a series of cartwheels by the edge of the gravel trap.

After discounting trying to slow the bikes down by changes to the technical rules or increasing the amount of asphalt run-off (before the gravel trap) as unfeasible in the short term, Lorenzo settled on a third option:

"That Michelin focusses on improving the front tyre, creating less imbalance between the grip of the rear and front tyres, so that when one loses the front tyre they can save the crash, as happened with the Bridgestones, thanks to the great front grip.

"Unless your name is Marc Marquez, lately there are few saves like these and that would reduce those types of crashes."

 

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