Marc Marquez: “There is no pain”

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The Spanish driver completes his first race in four months with a brilliant fourth place and a message of optimism

When Marc Márquez entered the pit lane after finishing fourth in the Japanese Grand Prix, his entire team came to the door of the box to receive him with a standing ovation. That warm welcome wasn’t as important as the fact that the Spaniard got off the bike without making any sign of pain, or stretching his arm, and he shook hands vigorously with each member of his team, without cutting himself in time to to be exuberant. “If something hurts unconsciously, you touch it or protect it,” he said minutes later when he appeared before the media: “The arm is tired, but there is no pain like before surgery. One is a tired arm and the other with pain, that pain reaches the head and that doesn’t even deliver adrenaline anymore.” A very graphic way of explaining it and that gives an idea of ​​what the Cervera rider had to go through.

The balance that can be made of your weekend is very positive. Sportingly, he added his first pole on Saturday almost three years later and a valuable fourth place on Sunday, by far the best Honda. And physically, he finished his first full race in four months, finishing “whole” in the circuit of the calendar that punishes the poor the most. Motegi would become the cotton test for that humerus that had already been operated on four times. A circuit with strong braking and strong acceleration, in which it is difficult to complete 24 laps without being well prepared.

Probably almost all circumstances are aligned to have a quieter career than expected. When he announced his return to Aragon, he warned that his priority was physical fitness and that he would have no qualms about skipping a race if his arm asked him to rest. He hinted that the Motegi appointment could be the one chosen to quit, although his trip to Japan was never in doubt as he took the opportunity there to speak with Honda’s senior staff and occasionally to ask for more. involvement in the MotoGP project. After withdrawing from Aragon without completing a full lap, he traveled without many miles of competition in his arm. And during the last weekend the cancellation of two of the four free practice sessions; and the wet day on Saturday (in the rain physical demand is less) enabled him to face a relatively cool Sunday. Something he later recognized: “We have to be realistic, in a totally dry weekend in all sessions, the position would not have been fourth.”

On the grid, Márquez had decided to fit the soft rear tire on his Honda to take advantage of his power at the start of the race and under the assumption that he would have to let himself go in the final laps. More than managing the race, the strategy was to see how far the arm would go. There was a lot of uncertainty as he had never completed more than seven laps on a MotoGP bike since his return, so from the second half of the race it was like taking a leap of faith.

He found in the figure of the Portuguese Oliveira a good wheel to follow. Lap after lap he was consistent and completed all his laps in a time of 1’46, except for his personal fastest lap (1’45.930). Marc himself was surprised at how well he finished the race and allowed himself the luxury of attacking Oliveira three laps before the end and taking a position. In his circumstances it didn’t matter if I finished fifth or fourth, but that overtaking had a symbolic value for the Catalan: «It was a long time since I could attack at the end. Before it was the other way around, they always attacked me.

You won’t be able to enjoy an unforgettable weekend for long, because the MotoGP World Championship now travels to Thailand, where a new appointment is on the calendar this weekend. It will be another litmus test for Marquez. Not so much because of the demands of the track, but because of the harsh conditions of heat and humidity they will face in this part of South East Asia, but as long as there is no pain…

Source: La Verdad

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