Honda rider Marquez has provisionally been included on the entry List for the 2021 Barwa Grand Prix of Qatar, the opening round on March 28, and he believes he can make an impact on the 2021 MotoGP season when doctors give him the green light following his right humerus injury.
His new team-mate, fellow Spaniard Pol Espargaró, who made the switch in the off-season from the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing team to the Repsol Honda team outfit, is also determined to make an early impact.
Here is all you need to know:
Márquez, 28, and Espargaró, 29, grew up racing together, battling from local championships in Spain to the premier class and a combined 446 World Championship starts, 184 podiums, 109 poles and 97 wins.
Unfortunately for Márquez – after winning six titles in seven years – 2020 was a write-off when he crashed heavily on the exit of turn three in the latter stages of the season-opening Spanish GP to badly injure his arm.
Márquez has battled back from three surgeries to give himself a chance of competing again on the factory Honda RC213V as Repsol and Honda continue their successful partnership that has brought them 180 premier class wins, 447 premier class podiums and 15 World Championships.
With the team keeping the same iconic bike livery in 2021, he said: “After a long time away it was nice to see my bike again and wear my leathers. 2020 was a difficult year for everyone and especially for me with the injury and watching the races from home. But I have continued to work with the doctors, with my team and with myself to recover and return to MotoGP. Of course, I would have liked to return sooner, but it is very important to listen to the doctors and my body until I am fully fit.”
The 2013 Moto2 World Champion, Espargaró is fresh from his best premier class season after he powered to five podium finishes over the 14 races and his highest MotoGP season finish of fifth overall.
Espargaró, who also grabbed two 2020 pole positions, revealed: “The lead up to this season has been one of the most exciting of my career, it’s been like waiting for my first season or my MotoGP debut. To ride for the Repsol Honda Team is every rider’s dream and something to be truly proud of. The final step is to ride the RC213V for the first time at Qatar, this excitement is motivating me to train more.”
Repsol’s Ana Camps explained: “Marc is an extraordinary rider and a unique person with a great ability to overcome anything. We have no doubt that he will soon amaze us again. Pol is a great professional and mature rider, and will now have an opportunity to prove his amazing talent.”
Honda Racing Corporation’s Tetsuhiro Kuwata added: “We enter another season full of anticipation and desire. After what has been a difficult 2020, we are continuing to learn and to work to return to the top of championship. HRC have been working as hard as always to keep improving the RC213V.”
Photo courtesy Gold & Goose/Red Bull Content Pool
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