Marc Marquez has a goal for his MotoGP return but no timetable yet to race again


There is no target date for a return by Marc Marquez from the injury that cost him the 2020 season, but the eight-time MotoGP champion at least has a goal.

“On the mental side, it’s hard, but you need to focus and always try to find the biggest goal,” Marquez said during a recent interview from Dorna Sports (the commercial arm of MotoGP). “The biggest goal was to be at the Qatar test. I won’t be at the test. The second goal is to be at the Qatar race. The doctors will say, and the body will say about that. But if not, then Qatar 2, or the next race. You need to work every day.”

After two tests at Sepang International Circuit last month, MotoGP will hold its final preseason session March 10-12 at the Losail International Circuit north of Doha, Qatar. The 2021 season will open at the same track March 28 with a second race scheduled April 4.

Though Marquez still has no timetable for when he will ride again, he said he feels “much better day by day, week by week” after a frustrating series of three surgeries last year on the right arm he fractured in a crash during the July 19, 2020 season opener.

The Spaniard tried to return for the following race after no nerve damage was discovered in an initial surgery to stabilize the arm. But Marquez experienced discomfort while trying to practice, and he skipped the rest of the season and later said the return was “hasty.”

After a Feb. 3 checkup, the Repsol Honda rider said the right arm bone is consolidating well after a graft last season, allowing him to increase weights in his rehabilitation.

Repsol Honda Team rider Marc Marquez was at the Circuit de Catalunya last Sept. 24 ahead of the Moto Grand Prix de Catalunya (LLUIS GENE/AFP via Getty Images).

“I feel happy because I’ve started to work,” he said. “ I was just there sitting on sofa and wasn’t able to do anything. Step by step, I feel (improvement) on the arm.

“With a seven-month injury, it’s hard on the mental side. In September and October, the arm had the same feeling, it didn’t feel any better or worse. It was all the same, and I wasn’t able to do any steps. But since the last surgery I started to feel every week and month different feelings, and that is important.”

A mid-March evaluation is expected to evaluate his progress and possibly determine if he’ll be healthy enough to return to the team’s new lineup this year.

After being scheduled to be paired last season with his younger brother, Alex, Marc Marquez will be teamed in 2021 with Pol Espargaro. The fellow Spaniard had a career-high five podiums and two pole positions for KTM in MotoGP last season.

“Coming from KTM, Pol finished in a good way,” Marquez said. “He knows where he’s coming, and Repsol is a team you must fight for podium every race and win races. He’s hungry to do that. This will be a new challenge also for me with a teammate that wants to come in and beat me.”

Regardless of when he returns, Marquez will be much happier on a bike than spending another season watching races on TV.

“In the beginning, when I was home,  I tried to analyze everything, but I was not a fan watching the races,” he said. “I tried to help my brother, but it’s not the same. It was strange to sit on a sofa every Sunday and watch the MotoGP race.”

During recent preseason promotional activities, Marquez said it was “nice to just wear the leather suit again” after the longest stretch of being sidelined in his career.

“I’m really excited to ride the bike first of all,” he said of his return. “In the 2021 season, I don’t know when it’ll start. That’s the big question for me at the moment. Hopefully sooner than later. I feel much better day by day, week by week. We need to be patient.”

Max Verstappen is PointsBet favorite to score sixth staight in 2022 Singapore Grand Prix

PointsBet 2022 Singapore odds
Mark Thompson / Getty Images

Max Verstappen is the PointsBet Sportsbook odds favorite to win the 2022 Singapore Grand Prix on the Marina Bay Street course to stretch his current win streak to six consecutive. He shows odds of -200 this week.

Formula 1 did not compete in Singapore in 2020 or 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but Verstappen has podium finishes in his last two attempts on this track. he was second in 2018 and third in 2019. In the first 15 races of this season, he has failed to stand on the podium only twice and has an average finish of 2.73.

With minus odds, the way to determine a payout is by subtraction. In order for a bettor to earn $100, he must wager $200 this week; with that wager, he will get back his initial stake and winnings of $100.

For bettors more comfortable with fractional odds, a bet of +300 is the same as 3/1.

Charles Leclerc is ranked second this week with +400 odds. He has two previous Singapore GP starts to his credit with a best of second in 2019. He is coming off back-to-back podium finishes with a third in the Dutch GP and a second at Monza.

Ranked third is Carlos Sainz, Jr. with a line of +1100. He has top-five finishes in four of his last five starts, but only one of these, a third in the Belgian GP, was on the podium. Sainz is one of four winners other than Verstappen this season. His victory came in the British GP.

Lewis Hamilton shows a line of +1200. His last win came last fall in the Saudi Arabian GP and the Mercedes team has struggled to contend for victory in 2022. They are improving, however, with eight top-fives in the last nine races. Hamilton has two wins in his last three Singapore starts, which came in 2017 and 2018.

Rounding out the top five is Hamilton’s teammate George Russell at +1800. He has not won, but has shown remarkable consistency with top-fives in all but one race. Notably, his only bad finish came in his home GP in England. Russell has one previous start at Marina Bay; he finished last in the 2019 race. He finished fourth in 2019 as part of a four-race streak of top-fives.

The most recent Singapore GP winner from 2019, Sebastian Vettel is a longshot at +50000.

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