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Will Shoulder Surgery Change the Way Marc Marquez Rides? (With Videos)

Does Marc Marquez almost routinely save crashes using his elbow, or even his shoulder? Yes. Does Marc Marquez crash more than any other MotoGP rider? Yes. Has Marc Marquez said that he crashes frequently because he is always “exploring the limit”? Yes.

As we reported, Marquez underwent very serious surgery on his left shoulder in early December of last year. He is still rehabbing. The extent of the shoulder repair was, apparently, massive … his surgeon expressing disbelief that Marquez could have won the title last year with a shoulder that was able to dislocate “in all directions.” One can only imagine the soft tissue reconstruction performed on Marquez to stabilize this complicated joint.

Needless to say, riding at the MotoGP level, and winning, involves risk taking. Even a subtle change in riding technique, or a new doubt in the mind of the rider, can have a significant impact on success. Can Marquez risk crashing on his left shoulder … particularly early in the year? We will see if this impacts his approach to racing. MotoGP testing for 2019 begins at Sepang on February 1. Stay tuned.



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36 Comments

  1. 5229 says:

    The answer to your question in my opinion is no.

  2. andy says:

    He sacrafices his body to find the limit and to win. In a way it shows his dedication and desire to win. But very imature and if other young riders follow his lead, you’ll have a bunch of badly injured riders.

    This kinda reminds me of the story about that chinese kid who sold his kidneys to buy an iphone 4.

  3. Mike says:

    He needs sliders that go around his whole knee. Can’t stand him but he is one fearless little prick.

  4. Reginald Van Blunt says:

    Courage vs Unrealistic Expectations, for the entertainment of strangers. MM will suffer the rest of his life to some degree with these injuries, the shoulder in particular. Is racing worth it ?

    • Jeremy in TX says:

      “for the entertainment of strangers”

      He gets paid to entertain strangers, but I would bet everything that he races for himself.

      “MM will suffer the rest of his life to some degree with these injuries”

      Yes, well, don’t we all. I have a couple of lingering injuries, myself, and I wasn’t even getting paid! The activities that caused those injuries add more to my life than the injuries take away.

      “Is racing worth it ?”

      I’d take his job and ability in a heartbeat.

      • mickey says:

        For $20 million a year I’d put up with a bum shoulder for the rest of my life. heck I got a lot of bum parts I’m putting up with and doubt I made a couple mil total working for 50 years.

      • Reginald Van Blunt says:

        Thank you for the insight. I never once thought about the money, just the motorcycling. Hope MM can get a regular job someday.

        • VLJ says:

          He will never need to get a regular job. He will be retired by his mid-thirties and never need to work another day in his life.

  5. viktor92 says:

    Until now he was extremely fortunate, may be he run out of luck and his human side is arising…

  6. bmbktmracer says:

    Now I understand why Honda hired Lorenzo. Seemed like such a puzzling move, but away from the cameras they knew Marquez was suffering. Hoping for the best…

  7. Andrus Chesley says:

    Love Marc to the max with his riding style that got everyone else having to match it or go home. But, I hope he slows it down a bit and not end up like Wayne Rainey, Sooner or later, these falls will put him out and he does not have to push that hard to win.

  8. Honda will probably just make some robot device to take over for his arm it the op fails. He has great courage nothing will stop him.

  9. Dave says:

    Considering his dominance with the condition his shoulder was in, is it even possible that he could ride worse after this?

  10. John Royal says:

    I too wish Marquez a full and speedy recovery but it is amazingly tough to come back from major shoulder injuries/surgery. Just ask Ben Spies.

    Here’s hoping that Marc is even faster with a “fixed” shoulder this year!

  11. Grover says:

    If the surgery was successful he will be better than last year. If he suffers a major injury on the same shoulder he may be out of the game completely. It’s quite a gamble for MM, but hasn’t it been a gamble for him all along?

  12. Steve M says:

    He should…..but he wont.

  13. Hot Dog says:

    I had a total shoulder joint replacement when I could no longer function without sharp pain. Within 2 weeks, nurse Ratchette was torturing me by pulling, stretching and even having me hang off of doors. 6 weeks after my replacement I rode a motorcycle. Mark is going to be just fine, if not even better, because he’s not going to have to deal with constant pain. I hate to wish away time but this upcoming season is going to be interesting!

    • HalfBaked says:

      Just an FYI the next time you need a shoulder or what not rehabed try going to a physical therapist they really are much better at it. And Nurse Ratchette? Really? Have you watched a new movie in the last 40 years.

      • Bob K says:

        There are no good new movies. They’re all remakes of good movies from 40 years ago.

      • Hot Dog says:

        Who said I didn’t see a PT? Nurse Ratchette was who Dr. Frankenstein said I should see. Jeez, take a deep breath, hold it and count to 500, you’ll feel much better.

        • TimC says:

          LOL certain folks (HalfWhat?) kinda fail at the ol’ “getting it” thing. God damn, imagine speaking figuratively possibly for humorous effect? Nah, let’s beat this dead horse into a corner!

          • mickey says:

            To be honest I’m surprised he read that far. Doesn’t he usually admit to only reading the first 4 or 5 words? lol

    • Bob K says:

      My surgery didn’t make me any better as it was just a repair. Not a whole replacement, just putting 7 pieces of clavicle back together. However, even with a physical terrorist (Nurse Diesel), I still don’t have full range of motion 5 years on and probably never will. I certainly can’t get my elbows out like Spies anymore (I learned from the same guy as him when I was club racing in Texas (CMRA and WERA). My arm is tucked in a little compared to before. Not great form. Trying to get it out there hurts. And hard braking is hard on my shoulder too. So, much like Spies, I can’t handle the ultra fast deceleration anymore and get in the right form for low and fast maneuvering. Obviously, the break isn’t all that happened, the socket itself is probably damaged but not worth having surgery over as it is structurally intact. Successfully coming back from a surgery is truly personal.
      But it’s good to hear that someone had a good outcome. Hopefully Marc will too. As much as I want to root against him, there’s no denying that he’s the best the sport has ever seen. And I’m I am lucky to say that I have the opportunity to witness such greatness in my lifetime.

  14. gpokluda says:

    Hopefully he is considering his quality of life years down the road. Young folk, my self included many years ago, tend to think they are indestructible. Messed up shoulders can be debilitating; they are used for everything from getting up out of a chair to checking your blind spot. Injuries like this really make themselves known we age.

  15. Phil says:

    I was wondering about this issue too. I’ve been carrying a shoulder injury similar to Marquez for most of my life. For me, its more than just an armchair critic issue.

    I think getting sufficient range of motion back is his first big hurdle (it’s difficult even for someone as motivated as Marc) . The psychological issue he will have to deal with is – you don’t get a second chance after such a big reconstruction. If he hurts it again, it will almost certainly be permanently weakened and limited in range of motion.

    He will know this, and it may be a psychological issue that develops over time and manifests itself as more conservative riding.

    I hope he can bounce back.

    • joe b says:

      I too had shoulder reconstruction, and reattachment of a torn bicep ligament. Shoulder has never been good, and still do not have full movement. I hope the best for Marc, next year’s first race will be telling.

  16. VFRMarc says:

    This guy is a brilliant rider. For all the Marquez haters out there, I can’t see Jorge or Valli (as much as I like him) doing these things.

  17. bmbktmracer says:

    I’ve had a few injuries in my racings days. I wouldn’t say they slowed me down so much, but they did lower my risk tolerance a bit. Hoping Marc can keep his eye on the war and let a battle go on occasion because I want to see him out there raising the bar for many years to come.

  18. Dino says:

    his surgeon expressing disbelief that Marquez could have won the title last year with a shoulder that was able to dislocate “in all directions.”

    Wow, I guess he just learned to deal with it.. Can’t image it helped him in any situations?

    I had a joint that was able to dislocate in any direction, but it wasn’t my shoulder!!

    • Eric says:

      As a former PT I can tell you that athletes like Marquez can maintain joint integrity with superb strength and muscle tone – to a point. Cross that and you can no longer control the joint and corrective surgery is needed.

      That he was able to do what he did with that shoulder is a testament to his extraordinary level of fitness. I recall some article about the training MotoGP racers put themselves through. There was a picture of a shirtless MM who looked like Bruce Lee from the neck down – 100% lean muscle.

  19. gpokluda says:

    I’m pretty sure the human shoulder was never intended to be used in such a manner. Hope he has a “speedy” recovery.

  20. Tommy D says:

    Pain tends to slow you down. Shoulder surgery tends to be a painful and tedious rehab. I hear it is not something to be rushed or else you can really screw up all the doc’s work. Let’s hope he recovers from this surgery like he does when he loses the front end. It’s somehow deemed miraculous. Not that I am a big MM fan but who doesn’t love the drama of this coming season. (Tommy D is rooting for Lorenzo this year)

  21. Todd says:

    He will just start putting a slider in his helmet if other body parts give out.