Repsol Honda Press Release: Marc Marquez Speaks On Injury Recovery, 2021 Hopes, Pol Espargaro As Teammate

The Repsol Honda team issued transcripts of the interviews from the Repsol Honda online launch. In the video, Marc Marquez talked about his recovery, his injury, and his expectations for 2021. Below is the transcript, the questions were asked by Honda PR:

Q: First of all, Marc, how are you and how is the recovery?

“Yeah of course, step by step I feel much better and the recovery is going in a good way and this is the most important thing. Every time that I went to the doctor, normally we had good news - that’s really important because last year was quite long and tough. But now, you know, we just try to follow my body with the physio, with the doctor and try to increase the work at home. I can’t say because I don’t know, and the doctors don’t know, when I will be ready. But the most important thing is that every week, not every day, but every week, I feel a bit better and I’m optimistic to be on the bike as soon as possible. I don’t know exactly when the day will be.”

Q: What are you aiming for in 2021?

“Normally the goal for a season, for a rider, is to try and win the championship and find small details to fight for the championship. But this 2021 season is completely different, my main goal is trying to enjoy being on the bike again. This will be the main target for me: to be on the bike again, enjoy the bike and then step by step start to be as fast as I was. But this will be, it’s something that you need to understand, and you can’t pretend to arrive one year without being on the bike and be the same Marc in the first race. It’s something that we must understand, and the main target is what I said, to enjoy being on the bike.”

Q: Do you think you will need time to adapt back to riding?

“The thing is that’s a difficult question because it’s the first time in my life, in my career, that there has been six, seven, eight, nine, ten months without a bike, with a big injury. Of course, the first time that I will ride the bike I will not be truly 100% because you know, one thing is to be 100% on the bone side, then being 100% on the muscles and all these things. We will see, I can imagine the best comeback that is to start riding the bike again and be the same, but it will be difficult to be like this. But we will see if it takes one race, two races, half the season to be the same Marc.”

Q: Who do you see as your biggest rival in 2021?

“The main opponents this year, honestly, now if I am honest, I don’t care. I don’t care who will be the strongest one because I have other goals but obviously to answer your question; it will be Yamaha, Ducati, Suzuki. Of course, Suzuki, Mir is the World Champion so he must, he is the guy to defend the title. Suzuki did a great job last year, so they are the guys to beat and Yamaha, Ducati, and even KTM finished in a very good way with Oliveira, so yeah. But now I don’t care, it’s not my battle.”

Q: What did you miss most about not being at the races in 2020?

“Of course, I missed the entire team a lot, this is what I miss. But obviously I miss racing, I miss the adrenaline, but I miss everything a bit. Normally I hate events and all these things but also, I missed them. In the first part of the injury, you miss being on the track, to be racing and competing and having that adrenaline. Then you start to miss your team a lot, then you start to miss the atmosphere from the circuits and then you miss even the events, the interviews, the journalists but now step by step, it’s what I said, I feel that this feeling will come back soon.”

Q: You have raced against Pol for almost your entire career, how do you see him as a rider?

“Pol is a great rider, I battled against him in 125, since I was eight years old, we have raced together. Normally he was older than me and normally he beat me in the smallest categories but then when we arrived in the World Championship, we had a great battle in 2010, we also had a great battle in the Moto2 championship in 2012. This year past, 2020, he did an amazing season with KTM and his level was good, so I think that he has the talent that he needs, he’s coming from a great factory with great results and he’s arriving in the best team and needs to be on the podium in every race and to fight there in the top five, top three.”

Q: What is your first memory of Pol and which memory stands out the most in your mind?

“When I was 11 years old it was the first time that we were teammates in the RACC Impala with a Honda bike. It was in the Catalan Championship and that season he won the championship, I think I finished second or third, I don’t remember. But it was my first season, his second season in 125. We shared the team, then we passed to another team together to RACC CajaMadrid that was also with Honda. He was in the Spanish Championship and I was in the Catalan Championship and yeah, since that year he followed his way and I followed my way with different teams, same racetracks, nearly the same results but different teams. You can’t imagine as an 11-year-old you share a team and now at 27 years old you share a team again.”

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Sounds like a very grounded, pragmatic take on what lies ahead. Unusual to hear a racer talking about wanting to enjoy being on the bike but I imagine it's very hard to feel it's fun when you're fighting a machine that wants to throw you on every corner.

No predictions from me, we'll just have to wait and see what happens.

... he got "step by step" and "going in a good way" out of the way in the first sentence!  :D

All the best Marc, hope you're back at full strength again soon.  The racing has been fantastic, but also lacking something in your absence.

Not to ever put pressure on a teammate but he just "...needs to be on the podium in every race and to fight there in the top five, top three.” Never change, Marc.

I have questions about Pol's make-up and Repsol is not a place for anyone who isn't in full robotic control of his emotions at all times. I'll have my answers soon and I think Honda is going to regret pushing Alex aside. This looks to be a lose/lose: Pol should have stayed at KTM and Honda shouldn't have signed him. But that's why they line up on Sunday. Can't hardly wait.

Greetings Brian!

Pol is a really good pick in another view. It isn't a forever wedding. Given the options, as a second rider, how good a fit is he for a V4 that demands wrangling? How motivated is he? Where is he at in his career? Good fit!

Same for his timing in boarding the Honda. It just came back to rideable. They just had their expectations handed back to them fished from the toilet of 2020. 

Pol was just caught and getting surpassed by two younger teammates in Orange. Perfect time to go. I think he will quickly get up to speed and do fine. He gets to be an old guy looking at HRC #44 posters. Of course, he never bested a healthy Marc over the course of a season, but he had that one really good go in 2021. How many riders get to be HRC? On merit. Pretty good stuff, that!

Pol's emotions seem in hand. Having them for good reason and recovering relatively quickly. He often has his heart in hand off the bike. On it, he keeps his emotion in employ of the task at hand. Likeable fellow.


(Thank you Honda for not changing the livery much, don't listen to the restless naysayers!)