The anticipated return of Marc Marquez takes place this weekend, but the former World Champion is not confident about his chances in the premier-class.
Marc Marquez is finally back in the MotoGP paddock after the Spaniard suffered a shoulder injury back in July of last year; three surgeries later, the six-time premier-class champion rides on a bike for real this weekend.
Absence makes the heart grow fonder; subsequently, most fans hold high expectations for his return, but Marquez is at the opposite end of the confidence spectrum.
“Obviously, Honda is not in the best situation.” he said in a press conference, speaking about Honda’s struggles during the opening two rounds in Qatar.
The highest placed Honda rider in the standings is Pol Espargaro, who sits tenth, and Marquez doesn’t doubt the credentials of the current Honda riders; “I mean Honda now have good riders like Pol Espargaro that got great results with KTM, [Takaaki] Nakagami that already has many years on a MotoGP bike, my brother [Alex Marquez] that is a World Champion in Moto2.”
He feels that the bike is not where it needs to be for the riders to compete near the front. Marquez suggested that his Honda stablemates lack confidence in the machine.
“The riders are there, so still they are struggling in the same points when I left the bike, they are trying to understand the confidence on the front tyre, try to crash less to find the limit,” he said.
Lacking confidence is a challenging spot for any rider to find themselves in; even the great Marc Marquez is expecting difficulty this weekend.
Nevertheless, Marquez is pushing the team to improve. “I’ve already spoke with the Japanese staff, and they are working really hard, trying to understand what the problem is.”
Marc Marquez’s return is good for MotoGP; he is a bonafide superstar; however, his return to the top still looks a long way off.
Honda’s star factory rider will need to combine his immense fortitude with his incredible ability to wrestle a bike to compete with the best in Portugal.