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Marquez Surgery Successful; No Damage to Radial Nerve

As reported earlier, defending MotoGP champ Marc Marquez (Honda) broke the upper bone (the humerus) in his right arm as a result of a crash during the closing stages of the opening round of the 2020 MotoGP series at Jerez last Sunday. A certain percentage of humerus breaks (roughly 10%) negatively impact a nerve, called the radial nerve, which is involved in controlling the wrist and fingers. This was a grave concern for Marquez and his team given his delicate use of his right wrist and fingers in controlling the throttle and brake on his MotoGP bike.

This morning, Marquez underwent surgery on the arm, and Honda reports that no damage was found to the nerve. Honda is not currently predicting when Marquez will return to racing, but he will clearly miss the next round at Jerez this weekend. Here is a portion of a press release issued by Honda earlier today, including a quote from Repsol Honda Team Manager, Alberto Puig:

After falling heavily on Sunday, Marc Marquez was diagnosed with a broken right humerus and travelled to Barcelona on Monday to the Hospital Universitari Dexeus. Dr Xavier Mir and his team in collaboration with Dr Barrera performed an open reduction and internal fixation of a titanium plate to the right humerus. The radial nerve was untouched and did not need intervention.

Marc is now recovering from successful surgery and will remain in hospital for up to 48 hours. His aim is to return to the 2020 World Championship as soon as possible with an expected date becoming clearer soon.

Alberto Puig
Team Manager

“Everyone who races in the World Championship has the unfortunate possibility of getting injured and having to go to the operating room. Unfortunately, it was our turn and it was Marc who has had to undergo surgery. Marc will take some time to recover but we are happy with how everything has gone. Doctor Mir and his team have taken care of the entire situation since the fall and performed a successful operation. This gives the Repsol Honda Team a lot of motivation, knowing it went well, but now we have to be patient to see how Marc recovers and to understand when he can return.”

“Cal Crutchlow also had an operation that went well and in principle, his intention is to test the wrist on Friday. We are optimistic about his participation in the Grand Prix.”

“This weekend we will be focused on Alex, helping him to take another step forward. When you are young and new in a category, every week you improve and grow. We hope he can close the gap to the front of the race.”


  1. mickey says:

    I just read that Marquez is going to try and race Sunday.Dang these guys are tough (and crazy).

    remember when Lorenzo highsided during practice on Friday I think, broke his collarbone, had it plated and raced on Sunday to a 5th place?

    • Jeremy says:

      Yeah, supposedly he’ll be participating starting with FP3 Saturday. I wish he wouldn’t.

  2. potomacduc says:

    Gary, I root against Marquez, but your comment is hard to fathom. Marquez has “pushed it too hard” for ten years in a row now and (as mentioned) “all” he has to show for it is 8 World Championships, most of them in totally dominant fashion, breaking records along the way. Last year he finished in first or second every race but one.

    With six titles, he sits behind only Agostini (8) and Rossi (7) in top class championships and is 4th in race wins all time across classes. He is only 27 years old and will recover. I’d say “pushing too hard” and “immaturity” are working pretty well for him. Even if his crash this year had ended his career, his approach would have led to his being placed in the top 3 riders of all time.

    As much as I am not a fan of Marquez, I think I’ll let his results argue for his approach. The guy rides on the ragged edge and simply wins because of it.

    • Gary says:

      I don’t root against Mark. But I’ve noted a lot of young talent burst on the scene in motorcycle racing. The typical pattern is that they are blazing fast, crash a lot, and win championships anyway. Then, over the years, they learn that crashing sucks. Slowly at first. But older bones heal much slower, and if they want long careers they learn to sometimes accept second place. Or third. Sometimes eighth. That’s the mark of a smart rider, veteran rider. Unfortunately, Mark doesn’t not seem to be learning that lesson, and if he doesn’t, one day it will end his career early. Which would be a pity.

      • Dirck Edge says:

        “It’s better to burn out than to fade away.”…Neil Young

      • fred says:

        Marc showed last year that he learned the lesson you want. Every time he couldn’t win, he settled for second.

  3. Delmartian says:

    I still have a huge need to understand… what made Marc’s tire step out like that and cause him to high-side? At the point when he crashed he wasn’t side-by-side dicing next to Vinalez, he appeared to be in complete control, and even though he was flying, none of the replays showed that he had done anything to deserve being booted. Could it really have been a failure with the Honda’s traction control electronics as some have suggested ? Could tire wear have caused such a dramatic loss of traction immediately followed by suddenly regaining traction and overwhelming the electronics and chassis ? I just hope his confidence isn’t adversely impacted by such a sudden, unexpected, and dare I say… unexplained high-side.

    P.S. – For those who have seen my posts from past MotoGP seasons, I’m a die-hard Rossi fan through and through. I’ve always respected Marquez’s amazing ability, but his cold-fish personality rubbed me the wrong way. But in Sunday’s Jerez race following his Lap 4 off-track excursion and subsequent charge back up through the field, I’ve never rooted for him more robustly and marveled at his ability. I really wanted to see him get on the podium, and was gobsmacked when he had his high-side stunner with only 4 laps remaining. What a shame. And speaking of my hero Rossi… anyone know why he DNF’ed ?

    • VLJ says:

      A red warning light lit up on his dashboard, telling him to shut it down.

    • Rob Webb says:

      It appears he was on the painted strip on the left side of the track. Could it have slightly less traction available? When MM accelerated hard the wheel spun until it hit the non painted section got better traction and over it went.

    • Delmartian says:

      After watching all the replays a few more times, I can see that Marquez’s rear tire steps out at the exact instant it touches the edge of the painted curb on the left-hand side of the track. If the track was misty or wet, I would conclude that the tire hit the slippery paint on the curb which caused the high-side. But obviously it was a very hot and dry day. Also, the painted curb gets ridden on at the transition point in dozens of spots for the entire track length on every single lap, by 20+ riders, and no other riders high-sided during the race. So I still don’t understand what caused it. The mystery deepens.

  4. dt-175 says:

    who’s gonna ride those Hondas? someone has to race them. how did puig get back in there? I thought pedrosa fired him way back when. rins’ suzy needs a rider too.

  5. Jesse Myers says:

    Dirck, thanks for the excellent coverage. Looking forward to the Colorado trip. Hope it works for you!

    • Dirck Edge says:

      Is that you Jay? Still gonna try to go on that trip with you guys.

      • Jesse says:

        slow to reply, but yes this is Jay! Steve mentioned that you were looking to acquire a Gold Wing for the trip. I love mine. I will be bringing my 2014 Stelvio out to Colorado. Hope this trip works for you!!

  6. Gary says:

    Marquez is blazing fast and maybe one of the greatest talents we’ve ever seen. But he continues to lack the maturity he needs rewrite the record books. He had this race in the bag twice … once while leading with hard front tires and again while mounting an epic charge from the back of the pack. When he was second, all he had to do was wait for Vinalez’s soft front tire to go off (which it did). Instead he insisted on pushing too hard to break away, which nearly caused crash number one, and which installed him at the back of the pack. Then, when charging toward the front, he could easily have settled for second or third, which would have been an incredible result. Instead, he pushed for a win, and nearly ended his career. It’s a pity, and it must drive Honda crazy. Ricky Carmichael used to say that you win championships on your bad days, when you soldier on and salvage the points you can. It appears Marquez is incapable of riding at any pace other than 10/10, all the time.

    • Motoman says:

      He’s already re-written many records. Looks like he’s not done yet either.

    • bmbktmracer says:

      In this case, 11/10. I agree with you. Once he busted into the top 6 it was time to ratchet down the risk-taking. And definitely, when he was behind Vinales but lapping nearly 1 second faster, with FQ long gone…sheesh… I sure hope he recovers quickly because he’s the best ever.

      • fred says:

        I still don’t think he was taking a lot of risks.
        On the other hand, you may be forgetting that the points haul goes up progressively when one gets above 5th.

        • bmbktmracer says:

          Not taking lots of risks? He first slid off the track in one of the all-time great saves, then he put himself in the hospital. What would you consider “taking a lot of risks”?

          • fred says:

            Perhaps I should have stated that he wasn’t taking any obvious risks over and above his normal riding style.
            He wasn’t riding ragged (compared to normal), etc. It was just a normal ride. That was the same pace that he was running in FP4. It was spectacular because he did it from behind.
            Before the race, Marc had .2-.8 seconds per lap on the field. This time he had to use it to pass people. In a normal race, this would just show up as finishing 5-20 seconds ahead of various other riders.
            We don’t get to see this very often, because normally the fastest rider starts at the front, not the back.
            The 3 great racers of the racer were Fabio, Marc, and Brad. see and you will see that most laps, those 3 riders were the top 3 fastest. Quartararo & Binder did their lap times “alone”, while Marquez did his in traffic.
            Marc only lost about 10 seconds in his off-track excursion, while Brad lost about 26.
            Only the results count towards the championship, but there were some really good rides that happened out there.

      • Stuki Moi says:

        He’s been-there-done-that enough times for it to be boring already, as far as just having a good, or even great, race is concerned. He doesn’t seem to be wired to rest on his laurels and safe it. Had he managed to come back to win, OTOH, which he was so close to, it would have been one for the record books. And impressive even by his, by now exalted, standards.

        • paul says:

          if marc wasn’t the type of racer to put forth maximum effort to win that last race then he likely wouldn’t have been the type of racer to hold all of the records he does hold.
          i’d bet a sizable sum that Honda knows ‘this’ and are perfectly accepting of mm’s actions(and said accomplishments) which simply do not comply with the sound judgement of all the world’s typists.

    • fred says:

      What you said might have made some sense if written during the 2015 season, but Marc has been regularly re-writing the record books for a long time now. He’s an 8-time World Champion in the last 10 years, and has won the MotoGP title 6 of the last 7 years, and 4 times in a row.

      Perhaps the hubris is in thinking that sitting at a keyboard gives one more maturity than actually being in the battle and winning regularly.

      Anyway, this article is about the successful surgery. Hopefully Mark, Cal, and Alex will all soon be fit to race again.

      • Gary says:

        Well, Fred, I’m 62 now, and while it is true I no longer race, I’ve done my share of dirt track racing, motocross, and hare scrambles. Certainly not at Mark’s level but I know a bit about competition … and crashing. You? Up for a pissing contest? LOL!

  7. mickey says:

    Good news all around. Now heal quickly men and get back to racing!

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