Marc Marquez' terrible run of injury problems continues. Today, the Repsol Honda team announced that it wasn't just concussion which Marquez suffered in a training crash before Portimão, but that he also appears to have damaged a nerve in his right eye. As a result, Marquez is having problems with diplopia, or double vision.
Those problems are a recurrence of the issue Marquez suffered back in 2011, when he crashed during practice at Sepang on a patch of water after marshals failed to wave the yellow flag. That crash cost Marc Marquez the 2011 Moto2 title, and a long period of uncertainty. The Spaniard required surgery on his right eye, a weakening of the muscle to try to correct the problem.
That surgery turned out to be a success. Despite the fact that there were real fears Marquez would never race again, a member of Marquez' entourage told me several years ago. The relief after he took to the track at Alcarras and rode a Moto2 machine without major problems was absolutely palpable. The test was supposed to be secret, but some BSB riders were also present, and as it was 2012, and the early days of Twitter and social media, the news soon leaked out.
Dr Sanchez Dalmau, the ophthalmologist who treated Marquez in 2011 and 2012, and is treating him again now, has chosen to follow a conservative regime of treatment, presumably to avoid complications on the eye where he has already had one operation. The problems Marquez is suffering are with the nerve which was damaged back in 2011.
There is no time frame for a return for Marc Marquez. He will certainly miss the Valencia race and the Jerez test. Whether he will be present at the Sepang test in February 2022 will only be apparent much later, and much closer to the time. Repsol Honda looks unlikely to replace Marquez at Valencia.
Marquez' absence is a setback for HRC's plan to develop the 2022 Honda RC213V. The bike, which first saw the light at the Misano test in September, is completely new, with a new engine, chassis, fairing, airbox, and aerodynamic package. It will need a lot of work to get it ready for 2022, and Honda will have to rely on the feedback from their current line up of test rider Stefan Bradl, Repsol Honda teammate Pol Espargaro, and the LCR riders Alex Marquez and Takaaki Nakagami.
The press release appears below:
Marc Marquez to miss Valencia Grand Prix and Jerez Test
The Repsol Honda Team rider will not participate in the Valencia Grand Prix this coming weekend, nor in the IRTA Jerez Test scheduled for November 18 and 19.
After Marc Marquez underwent a medical examination at the Dexeus Clinic in Barcelona last Tuesday, in which he was evaluated after a fall while practicing off-road, the rider has been resting all week at his home in Cervera.
During these days of rest, Marc has continued to feel unwell and has suffered from vision problems, which is why this Monday he was visited by the ophthalmologist Dr. Sánchez Dalmau at the Hospital Clínic de Barcelona, who examined him and performed the tests, which detected a new episode of diplopia.
Doctor Sánchez Dalmau
“The examination carried out on Marc Marquez today after the accident that occurred has confirmed that the rider has diplopia and has revealed a paralysis of the fourth right nerve with involvement of the right superior oblique muscle. A conservative treatment with periodic updates has been chosen to follow with the clinical evolution. This fourth right nerve is the one that was already injured in 2011.”