MADRID — Eight-time MotoGP champion Marc Marquez will be out for the first two races of the year in Qatar as he continues to recover from an arm injury.
Márquez made the announcement on his social media accounts Monday.
“After the last check-up with the medical team, they have advised me not to participate in the two Qatar races so we will continue with the recovery to return to compete as soon as possible!” he said.
The Spaniard missed virtually all of last season after undergoing surgery on his right arm following a crash in the Spanish Grand Prix season opener. He needed a second surgery after re-injuring the arm at home.
After the last check-up with the medical team, they have advised me not to participate in the two Qatar races so we will continue with the recovery to return to compete as soon as possible!#MM93 pic.twitter.com/vZRF1VsKzC
— Marc Márquez (@marcmarquez93) March 22, 2021
Last month, Marquez had said he had set goals for the 2021 season but no timetable for his return yet.
“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.”
The 2021 season will open at Losail International Circuit north of Doha, Qatar, this Sunday with a second race scheduled April 4.
Marquez has begun riding bikes but and 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.
“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.”