Marc Marquez nearly backed-up his fastest time of FP3 with a pole position at Le Mans, only to miss out on a final lap as track conditions greatly improved, which resulted in the eighth-time champion ultimately finishing sixth.

It’s been obvious so far since his MotoGP return that wet conditions have been his strongest, as the physicality of handling a MotoGP bike is less compared to the dry. 

FP3 was the first session that Marquez has topped since making his return at Portimao as he alluded to making ‘a step’ from yesterday to today. 

"This morning we did a step on wet. Obviously in wet conditions I feel more natural and normal than in the past because it’s less demanding about physical condition. 

"It’s something that we already expect. Then on dry conditions even in FP4 I feel better. In Qualifying I was riding not so bad. But the track conditions were not perfect. 

"The lap times were slower, the grip was lower and then all these things, when it’s like this I’m riding better. 

"When everything is more on the limit and you need to push more, then it’s where you stress more the physical condition and where I struggle more."  

After qualifying Marquez was also asked where his fitness level is currently at and what percentage he would give it.

"It’s difficult to say or to understand, especially because in the gym some muscles are nearly 80%. When I speak about muscles, I mean all the arm,” added Marquez. 

"Some are 50% but It depends on the movement. It’s true that on all the shoulder I’m struggling more, especially the back of the shoulder. It’s where I’m working more and trying to improve. 

"Two winters ago I had an operation on the right shoulder. That injury still is not 100% recovered because there was some damage to a nerve in the shoulder." 

So while the arm still has some ways to go before we see the Marquez of old - he himself said the summer break is when he should be back to full fitness - on the bike, it’s only a few areas where there are problems. 

The Repsol Honda rider said: "On the bike I’m only struggling in a few corners. It’s not like I’m struggling all the circuit. 

"It’s a few corners such as corner 1, corner 5, corner 8, that’s where I’m struggling more. But then in the left corners I’m feeling really good, feeling normal. But it’s like reverse. Because I feel good on the left corners and it’s where I want to gain time and I push too much. 

"If you check, two times in Jerez I crashed on the left part. Here I crashed again in a left corner because it’s where I feel the most confident and I try to take all the lap time there. 

"But sometimes all what I lose in the right corners where I’m struggling, it’s impossible to recover because it’s the limit."