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Repsol Honda Team's Marc Marquez has revealed just one more hurdle stands between himself and the opening pre-season test in Malaysia as he looks to fight back from what he describes as possibly "the most difficult moment of his career". The eight-time World Champion has stated if he can safely navigate a full day of riding at a Grand Prix circuit, he'll likely be given the green light to jump back on a MotoGP™ bike for the first time since he clinched victory at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix in October 2021.
Marquez was cleared to ride a motocross bike again earlier this week after "a clear improvement in his vision" was confirmed by Dr. Sánchez Dalmau. His recovery from double vision continues to make progress, with now a previously doubtful appearance at the pre-season tests in Malaysia and Indonesia looking increasingly likely.
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"First of all, I'm really happy after three tricky months," explained the Spaniard at HRC's 2022 rider line-up presentation on Friday. "Because a vision problem is never easy. This last month I was starting to feel better and better, and it’s nice to start feeling better. Since I had the accident it’s been difficult, but I’ve just followed the advice of my doctor, the one that fixed my vision in 2011. It a very slow process but we knew it would be when I had the injury because was it was a nerve that straight away affected the muscle. It was the same nerve as with my 2011 injury.
"Since that moment it was hard because you never know, but this last month, especially last week, I felt some improvement. This week I had a doctor's check and, basically, my feeling was proved in the results of the check. I was very happy that he allowed me to start riding a bike again and I chose a motocross bike because it’s what I was riding when I suffered my injury.
"Motorcross is really demanding, you need to be very precise and do some jumps, some uphill, downhill and fully test all of your vision. Now I'm looking forward to the next step. Repsol Honda is trying to organize a test with a CBR1000 or maybe the RCV. Let's see if we can organise it soon and try at a GP circuit.
"Since I got injured, my goal was to try to be at the first test or the first race and it looks like we are on the way. Now I need to do a one day test at a Grand Prix circuit and do a full day with a lot of laps to see when I get tired if I have any problems. We need to evaluate those things before I’ll be allowed to ride at the Malaysia Test."
The number 93 went on to describe the mental challenges he's faced since he was diagnosed with diplopia for a second time. Serious doubts over his future MotoGP™ career crept into his mind, he admitted, knowing that all outcomes could take effect with an injury as serious and complex as double vision.
"Maybe it was the most difficult time of my career. This is now the 4th winter that I’ve had an injury. First, the right shoulder, then the left shoulder, then the arm and, just when it looked like everything was getting better and better, another injury arrived after I’d won in Austin and Misano and I was feeling good, but in life you never know. It’s true that it’s been hard. I don't want to wish this on any rider or any person, to have these kinds of feelings.
"It’s not something you can play with and say ‘yeah, ok, now I’ll try’. You either have clear vision or you don’t have clear vision, it’s yes or no. The Doctor didn’t say to me it’ll be one, three or six months, he didn’t know. Everything was on the table. Surgery was on the table, time was on the table and the possibility to not ride a bike was on the table. It was a hard time because I didn’t know my future."
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