Marc Marquez To Miss The First MotoGP Race Of 2021 in Qatar

The 2021 MotoGP season will kick off without six-time MotoGP champion Marc Marquez. After review by the medical team monitoring his recovery from the broken humerus he suffered at the opening MotoGP round of 2020, the decision has been made to postpone a comeback until after the two Qatar rounds.

Marquez had already been riding on MotoGP tracks, the Spaniard having spent a day on track in Barcelona on board a Honda RC213V-S street bike, followed by another day at the Portimao circuit in Portugal. Despite good progress being made, and the positive response his arm had shown to Marquez stepping up his training program, the medical team felt it was better to advise Marquez to skip the first two races to give his arm more time to heal, and for the bone density in his humerus to further improve and gain strength.

The next medical check for Marquez is scheduled for April 12th, in the week before the Portuguese round of MotoGP. That implies that Marquez will also miss the second round in Qatar, set for April 4th, but opens the door for a return in Portugal.

During the Repsol Honda team launch, Marquez had stated quite clearly that he would listen to his doctors and follow their advice. There were question marks over this, however as the Spaniard had already flown out to Qatar to get vaccinated, and made an appearance in the hotel gym to show the other riders present that he was serious about a return. The question was, if Marquez was already in Qatar, would he be able to resist the temptation to jump on a MotoGP bike proper and give it a go.

With this announcement, Marquez has shown he is sticking to the pre-agreed plan. No doubt he has learned the lessons of his attempted early return at the Andalusian round, just a few days after breaking his arm and then having it plated again, which went so horribly wrong and saw him end up with an infection on the bone and a severely weakened humerus, and forced to miss the entire 2020 season. That will likely make him all the more determined once he does return, and more likely to be at full strength.

The press release from the Repsol Honda team appears below:

Marc Marquez to miss opening Qatar race

Marc Marquez, together with his medical team from the Hospital Ruber Internacional, have considered it prudent not to re-join competition this weekend in Qatar.

In the review carried out on the Spanish rider by the medical team led by Doctors Samuel Antuña and Ignacio Roger de Oña, and made up of Doctors De Miguel, Ibarzabal and García Villanueva, 15 weeks after surgery for an infected pseudoarthrosis of the right humerus, a good clinical response has been found after the intensification of his training.

However, considering the time period and the current state of the bone consolidation process, doctors consider it prudent and necessary not to accelerate Marquez’s return to the track after such an inactive time, and to avoid putting the humerus at risk in intense competition. Marquez will undergo another medical check on Monday, April 12.

Marc Marquez

“After the last review with the medical team, the doctors have advised me that the most prudent thing was not to take part in the Qatar Grand Prix and to continue with the recovery plan that we have followed in recent weeks. I would have loved to be able to participate in the opening race of the World Championship, but we will have to continue working to be able to recover the optimal conditions that allow us to return to competition.”


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... sensible choice has been made. This may turn out to be a boon for fans: If the "old" Marquez indeed returns after his full recovery, it will be even more fun watching him frantically try and regain lost points after missing both Qatar rounds.

"If you could fiddle with something to make the season really interesting, what would it be?....and don't say start the grid in reverse order with Savadori on pole again, that is horribly dangerous."

Yep, this.

Ok, really though, wise move Marc and Co. Heal well Earthbound Alien. Very much looking fwd to your return Round 3 or so. And 2021 is WIDE open. We are going to see hungry competitors. I think Marc will be one of them approaching the pointy end late in the season. So excited I can taste race fuel. 

How many excellent Motomatters subscribers know all too well the downside of returning to activity too soon after reconstructive surgery? Amazing how the mind can ignore both the doctor's recommendations and the signs the body gives it. But then again, none of us have been 100 million euro salaried employees of HRC. That dynamic may be playing a role in the doctor's decision to advise Marquez against competing in the Qatar double header.  

can hear it, very faint at first but slowly getting closer. Yep, that's definitely music but what is it? Oh hang on, I can hear it now, it's the Jaws music...

Fifty points up for grabs before Marc returns.

 50 points; Newt: "It won't make any difference."

Can one rider take two wins at Qatar? Maybe. Dovizioso could but Dovi isn't racing.

Fabio Q won the first two last year and finished where in the championship?

There was no Qatar MotoGp race last year, so 2019 is the most recent race. Not just Dovi who has changed corse, back in '19 we had Cal on the podium. Jorge Lorenzo, Andrea Iannone, Karel "the gravel" Abraham, and Bradley Smith were racing. Tito Rabat & Hafizh Syahrin were racing in MotoGp. Times change.

This will be fun to watch, bring it on!

Two bikes yes (Yam/Duc) one maybe (Suzuki). 

Quarty, Miller, Franky (there's my podium pre event), Vinales stand out. Mir peeking out over their shoulders. Miller holeshot. Quarty leads lap 3. Morbidelli reels them in. Several crashers, one of them "unlucky to be close to Zarco." 

(Ape, don't forget 2019 FQ20 and the 2020 Blue Turd eh? I think he is back on). Going to count the Honda front end crashes. 

What a shame.

The doctors are partners instead of obstacles now hopefully.

I wonder if anybody is considering MM and the possibility of needing a 50 point head start. If you really felt you needed it then that's the championship in round 1. Turn 2 is going to feel nasty every lap ! I would hope they have more level heads, it's a long season, MM or no MM...a DNF is as good as any DNS. What performance Pol, Stefan, Alex and Taka can produce will be telling.

Hopefully he comes back fast and fit, always good to watch a demigod on the comeback trail; he'll be right there come Valencia. 🤞

Next step in bike progression is the MotoGP bike, no?  Think he will try one of the FP sessions at Qatar to test the arm and feelings?  If he feels ok would there be any chance of getting him back off of it before the race?  

I have always wondered how rider salary structures operate at his level.  Certainly no win, podium or championship bonuses if you don't race.   I would imageine the base salary would still be a significant part of the overall package (and would likely still be paid if injured while racing for your employer and unable to ride).  While I am certain he is not desparate for money, the lost earnings opportunity for someone like MM (who can typically count on earning performance bonuses) must weigh on the mind (of his management, at least) especially if his Homda package emphasized performance bonus over base salary.     

I don't get why he went to Portimao after Catalunya if he's not ready yet. I know he wasn't on a full on motogp bike round those tracks but I'm still very confused. I was thinking he'd be at Qatar at least trying a practise session after I read he went to ride at Catalunya. And after the Portimao ride I was sure he'd be at Qatar expecting him to do the race aswell. I must have missed something