Marquez: ‘I don’t expect to be at 100% in Qatar’

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

As he begins the defence of his MotoGP™ title, still continuing the recovery from his broken leg, the youngest ever premier class World Champion Marc Marquez acknowledges he is unlikely to be 100% fit in Qatar.

 

Preseason preparations were complicated for Marquez when he broke his right fibula during a dirt track training session in Spain in February, meaning he missed two crucial MotoGP™ tests ahead of his second campaign at the top level. Previously he had headed the timesheets on all three days of MotoGP’s first 2014 test in Sepang.

The 21 year-old has been working diligently since his injury, undertaking specific rehabilitation and physiotherapy, but his level of competitiveness for round once in Qatar will only become clear once he gets back on his Honda RC213V.

“Obviously it was very disappointing for me to miss two tests but the good news is that I’m getting better and the bone is mending,” Marquez comments. “I’ve been exercising more, so I’ll have to see how I am in Qatar - I don’t expect to be 100%, but I will try my hardest.”

“The important thing is to take some valuable points and then get up to 100% by round two in Austin. Arriving in Qatar as World Champion is something new to me - to defend the title - and I know that from the first session the eyes of the world will be on us. Taking my first MotoGP podium here last year was special and I have good memories.”

Indeed Marquez has featured the Qatar podium in all three classes, a third in MotoGP (2013), a win in Moto2 (2012) and another third place in 125cc (2010).

His teammate Dani Pedrosa has had a more straightforward preseason. “It’s been pretty positive and we completed a lot of laps in both Sepang and Phillip Island,” states Pedrosa. “We’ve made a lot of progress but as always there is room to improve. Since we finished in Australia, I’ve been concentrating on my fitness and focusing on the start of the season, my days are pretty hectic with the various training regimes.”

“The race weekend in Qatar is quite long - as it stretches over four days - and the grip level is always quite low the first practice. Now I’m looking forward to the start of the Championship.”

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