Leading MotoGP riders have given their thoughts on Marc Marquez sitting out for another two to three months through injury, with Johann Zarco labelling it “sad news”.
Honda revealed on Saturday that the reigning world champion’s recovery from a second surgery on the right arm he broke in last month’s Spanish Grand Prix is taking longer than expected, and will be out until at least late October.
This guarantees MotoGP will crown a new champion at the end of the 2020 campaign.
Avintia rider Zarco says he understands how difficult the current situation will be for Marquez, having recently had surgery on a wrist and knowing how motivated he was to return to the bike soon after.
“It must be pretty difficult to live in this situation for him,” Zarco said.
“In Jerez, after the injury he immediately came [back] and he tried, but he could not.
“And from that moment he knew that it’s gonna be difficult.
“I understood now even more what he has to live [through]. I got my first operation and it was a mini operation compared to him, but I wanted to go on the bike again to have some feeling, even if it was not maybe the best chance to recover perfectly.
“So it’s a sad news. And I think it must be pretty difficult and he will carry this energy.
“But we know him and he’s still young, so when he will come back he will be strong.”
Valentino Rossi says the situation with Marquez shows he is “human”, despite “miraculous” injury comebacks becoming commonplace in MotoGP.
“Over the last few years we have seen riders recover from injuries in an almost miraculous way,” Rossi said.
“But Marquez tried to get on the bike just four days after undergoing surgery for a major fracture.
“This shows that he is human, that we all are.”
Andrea Dovizioso had only just been informed of the news when he spoke to the media on Saturday, and while the Ducati rider concedes it is “big for the championship” he doesn’t think it will have an impact on his title situation.
“At the end if Marc arrived in Misano or a bit later, for the championship, yes, [it has] changed because every time he will be on the track he will be on top for sure,” Dovizioso said.
“But if it’s better or worse for us, I don’t know.
“It’s big news for the championship, but not for our championship, our situation.”
Styrian GP poleman Pol Espargaro wished his future Honda team-mate a speedy recovery, while stating that the absence of “the current best rider” means no one on the grid can truly know their actual pace.
“He’s the current best rider on the grid,” Espargaro said of Marquez.
“And to be without him here riding, we all cannot see the performance of our bikes at the best level.
“So, we cannot see how we would be, today how fast he could be here in Austria.
“So, for sure, just when we have something like that we wish the fastest recovery possible and just [hope] to see him riding on the bike again very soon.”