Marc Marquez listed on preliminary entry list for the MotoGP season opener at Qatar

Marc Marquez Qatar entry
JAVIER SORIANO/AFP via Getty Images
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Eight-time MotoGP champion Marc Marquez is on the preliminary entry list for the series’ season opener March 28 at the Losail International Circuit in Qatar.

The Spaniard has been sidelined since fracturing his right arm in the July 19, 2020 season opener. The injury required multiple surgeries for Marquez, who briefly made at attempt at a comeback.

In an interview two weeks ago, Marquez said he had begun making significant progress in his rehabilitation but had no timetable for riding again. He has missed the second preseason test for MotoGP at Qatar this week.

Marquez has pointed toward a mid-March evaluation with doctors that will be pivotal to determining whether he is ready to race.

According to Crash.net, Marquez said in an interview with his Repsol Honda Team that he still is “going in a good way and day by day. Two weeks ago, I said week by week, but now it’s day by day. First of all, I will not ride a MotoGP bike straightaway. Maybe I will start with a small bike and sometimes train in a small circuit.”

Marquez is scheduled to be teamed with new teammate Pol Espargaro this year. But if he is unable to start the season, Stefan Bradl will substitute in his place.

Bradl has been on the HRC RC213V Honda this week at the 16-turn, 3.43-mile track, where Espargaro had a minor incident Thursday morning after ranking fifth on the speed chart Wednesday.

“It’s coming naturally and I am finding and understanding the limits more and more,” Espargaro said in a team release. “Still there are some 10ths to find over the fast lap, but we are making big steps.

“I was eight 10ths faster today, so it means we are constantly changing our references, and we are always learning. But more important than this is our consistency, and this is really where we have been working and what I am happy with. I am still working a lot on myself, but now we can start to experiment a bit with the bike. It’s positive.”