Marquez To Miss The Phillip Island Test, Will Next Ride At Qatar

Marc Marquez will not ride at the Phillip Island test, scheduled for next week, and will only return to riding at the first race of the season at Qatar. After meeting with Dr Xavier Mir in Barcelona today, Marquez was told it would be better to rest and recuperate as fully as possible before attempting to ride a MotoGP bike again.

The decision to wait until the race at Qatar also settles a potential argument over testing at Phillip Island and Qatar. HRC had been contemplating sending Marquez to test with the satellite and Open class riders at Qatar, rather than the factory riders at Phillip Island, where they are testing tires for Bridgestone. Honda asked Race Direction for permission to allow Marquez to test at Qatar, but Yamaha and Ducati lodged an objection.

The split between factory and non-factory testing had been agreed at the end of last year, to give Bridgestone a chance to test tires, but Yamaha and Ducati feared that Marquez would gain an unfair advantage if he was allowed to test at Qatar just a week ahead of the season opener. If Marquez was to test at Qatar, Yamaha said, then Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi would test at Qatar as well, abandoning the tire test.

Paolo Ciabatti, head of Ducati's MotoGP project, told GPOne that allowing Marquez to test at Qatar would not be fair. They had put themselves at the disposal of the championship, to assist Bridgestone with the tire test, Ciabatti said. The Italian factory had originally proposed to test at Phillip Island only with their test riders, but Bridgestone had requested they send their factory riders, to provide the best data possible. Ducati had agreed, and they did not want to be punished by giving away an advantage to Marquez.

With Marquez now deciding to return only at the first race, the situation has been resolved. It also means that the reigning world champion has more time for his fractured fibula to heal. The official press release from Honda on the situation appears below:

Marquez to miss Phillip Island test

It is now confirmed that Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez, who broke his fibula last Wednesday in a training accident, will not be fit enough to test before the first race of 2014.

After a check-up today with Dr. Mir in Barcelona, it was advised that Marc takes this opportunity to rest, rather than risk further injury, in order to prepare for the Qatar GP, which will begin in just three weeks.

Marc Marquez

“I’m obviously disappointed that I’m not in Sepang at the moment and to miss Phillip Island is also unfortunate, but we believe it is the best decision. After my meeting today with Dr. Mir, although he was happy with the general situation of my leg after only seven days since the accident, he advised against taking unnecessary risk. So I will take time to rest and get myself as fit as possible to return to Qatar for the first race in the best shape possible”

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Would this mean that he would then ride a satellite/open bike in Qatar? Nakamoto San's head would likely implode if he was significantly more than .3 slower on the production bike vs his factory ride. Unfortunately, we'll likely never know.

A bust leg is what it is. A bust leg. Tyre testing HRC/Yamaha and Bridgestone at PI. Really. The sport needs the tyre war re-introduced as a matter of urgency. Implimentation prior to 2015. Jap Cup GP...Ho hum !!! No offence intended. Back to Marc. All the best for 2014. We saw Rossi bounce back from a bust leg and win in Sepang,we saw Stoner bounce back with a mashed ankle to win a record umpteenth at PI and we saw Lorenzo bounce back with gameness and ability umpteen times that beggars belief. Qatar 2010 being one of my all time favourites.

I assume hrc will be shipping the bike to pi regardless. It would be nice if there was a good test rider available locally who could do some laps so the transport costs aren't for nothing.... I don't think dorna would allow it tho

Yep that would indeed be nice, but I think the test rider is off fishing somewhere.

On the other topic - Honda requesting permission to test at Qatar - I'm a Honda fan, but that sucks, Mr Honda. You need to act within the letter of the rules, but also within the spirit of the rules.

I'm glad it's not going ahead because it means I don't have to switch to the Yamaha camp - at this point. However I'll happily go if Honda is going to make any other attempts to gain advantage with such dodgy practices.

Pirro, Nakasuga and 2ish random Japanese Honda test riders were present at Sepang 1. Nakasuga and Pirro are also at Sepang 2. Why can't Stoner test at PI? Oh yea, Dorna hates him and Honda doesn't want him to embarrass their other riders.

On the other hand, this would be a perfect opportunity for Honda to show that, in the right hands, the production racer is capable of running with the factory bikes. If any track and rider combination can hide the RCVr's shortcomings it is Phillip Island and CS27. Similar to Checa taking pole last year on the Panigale but the gap is bigger in MotoGP, both in terms of rider talent and the level of bike discrepancy, so I guess it evens out.