Just two days after surgery on a fractured right arm, defending MotoGP champion Marc Marquez has been approved for a stunning comeback in Sunday’s second race of the season (7:30 a.m. ET, NBCSN) after receiving medical clearance, according to the MotoGP site.
Marquez, who was injured during a crash in the July 19 season opener, was declared fit to ride in Sunday’s Andalucia Grand Prix in Jerez, Spain. He passed a fitness test Thursday after arriving at the Circuit de Jerez from Barcelona, where he had successful surgery Tuesday. He is planning to miss practice Friday but will test his condition Saturday in hopes of racing Sunday.
Repsol Honda Team manager Alberto Puig said in a Wednesday interview that Marc Marquez had no nerve damage but declined to give a timetable on the eight-time MotoGP champion returning and said the team was prioritizing the rider’s long-term health. During an interview Thursday, Puig expressed surprise about Marquez’s rapid comeback.
“Nobody expected to see him here, clearly,” Puig said (watch the interview above). “When the accident happened, we were very worried. Of course, he had to move to Barcelona for surgery.
Fit to ride ✅ pic.twitter.com/vOIvlCFkYF
— Repsol Honda Team (@HRC_MotoGP) July 23, 2020
“And after surgery, the rider started to feel very well. He started to contact us and said I’m feeling very well. I’m not in so much pain. I can move the arm. The nerve situation, as the doctor informed, was OK.”
Puig said the team originally planned to bring back Marquez in two weeks but now “after what we saw of Marc’s wishes, and after the doctor said today that they declared him fit, we came to an understanding that he will try on Saturday, and depending on how he’s feeling, he will try to race (Sunday).”
MotoGP also said that Alex Rins of Team Suzuki Ecstar and Cal Crutchlow of LCR Honda also were declared fit to ride. Crutchlow also suffered a fracture during the opening weekend.
— MotoGP™🏁 (@MotoGP) July 23, 2020