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Marquez Training on Honda 600; Could Race at Austin Next Weekend (Updated)

This picture of Marquez entering the track to practice on his 600 this morning was posted to social media by both Marquez and Repsol Honda.

Yesterday, social media posts and the Spanish press confirmed that Marc Marquez has been cleared by his eye doctor to ride motorcycles, and that Marquez has, in fact, been training on a Honda 600 at a track in Spain. Marquez is expected to travel to Austin, Texas next weekend, and possibly compete in the race. As a precaution, Honda will also have substitute rider Stefan Bradl on hand.

UPDATE – Honda has officially confirmed that Marquez will race this weekend in Texas. It will be interesting to see how well he has recovered from the horrific crash he experienced a few weeks ago at Mandalika.

48 Comments

  1. xLaYN says:

    Texas winds are very strong and there is wind forecast for Sunday, wanna see them battling the bikes and the weather

  2. Tommy D says:

    As a dad, I worry about him. He seemed to surf that edge of impossible for a long time and get away with it. The past couple years the payment came due. Will he end up on the podium at COTA or crash himself out of the event? This isn’t the same Marc we all hated when he was battling Rossi. I hope he gets the monkey off of his back and podiums. It’s a great story to follow last weeks Hallmark script.

    • Brinskee says:

      Being a dad of two small kids now I can’t even begin to wrap my head around how I would approach either of my children at Marc’s current age or potential level, or even what it must have been like to be his parent when he was at either of my kids age. I both hope for and fear the opportunity to contemplate such realities. We’re talking about truly awesome responsibility. Occasionally I find myself questioning Marc’s parents decisions, but almost immediately find myself realising I would do far, far worse in their shoes.

  3. My2cents says:

    Certainly will be interesting to see if he can complete the race. Honda hasn’t been productive thus far and therefore the pressure is on to win, although it is still early in the season. Unlike the majority in here I have no medical degree and I have never raced at a professional level, but I did work in tracking statistics for predictability ( history does repeat itself) and acted on those on the feed side of problem solving. Multiple crashes this season alone and a history of extended injury downtime simply adds up to his inability for a safe return to racing at this point.

    • TimC says:

      And yet, Austin is one of his best tracks….

      • My2cents says:

        It’s not about Austin being one his best tracks or even if he wins in Austin. It’s about his injuries and the continuing to ride at far less than peak condition. I prefer me being wrong and you being right, the other way around is tragic.

  4. RonH says:

    He’s going to do what he wants. He’s very skilled. I admit though, I enjoy the races more when he’s out.
    I don’t like his win at any cost mentality. He muscles other riders around, holds back to follow a faster rider to slipstream and qualify even faster and on…
    I get it, “that’s racing”, but it’s disrespectful and not clean racing. Not to mention he adds an unnecessary additional danger to the other riders.

    • Jeremy says:

      I do wish Dorna would implement some rule to prevent waiting on the track to follow other riders. Marquez has been doing that since his injury, though in the past he was the rider being followed. So goose and gander I guess, but I still do not like it.

      As far as muscling others around, I do think that is part of racing. If one rider leaves the door open, I have no issue with another rider pushing his way through. Though there have been times when Marquez (and others – it’s definitely not just him) have been guilty of kicking a closed door down while somehow escaping penalty.

      • Motoman says:

        I hate it too when riders wait for a tow in qualifying. If it didn’t take too long it would be great if each rider got a set number if qualifying laps on track alone like the Indy 500. At least make it against the rules to use the tow strategy.

        • mickey says:

          If you have watched qualifying at all, you know catching a tow is an oft used tactics by nearly all the riders. If they can improve their starting positions by closely following someone else, they gladly do it. Its not just Marquez, its any and all of them.

          • Jeremy says:

            I wasn’t trying to imply that it was just Marquez, and yes most of those guys do it. I just don’t like it.

          • Motoman says:

            I watch all the qualifying sessions (one of my favorite parts of the race weekend actually) and yes I am aware all the riders do it. Just seems to me it would be better and more representative of their actual pace if they didn’t. Save it for practice and the race I say. Creates unnecessary issues at times that could be avoided. Overall, I think Dorna does a pretty good job with the rules however.

        • TimC says:

          Why is it a Thing that they must qualify with others on the track? Ridiculous way of doing things, I think.

          • Jeremy says:

            It makes for a better and more exciting viewing experience is my guess as to why they do it that way.

          • VLJ says:

            It’s also a matter of logistics. There isn’t nearly enough time available in the day to allow each rider solo track time for qualifying. They all have to be out there together. There is no other way.

            That being said, this shameless qualifying tactic of Park It and Wait For A Tow should be illegal. It’s a ridiculous eye-sore of a practice that needs to be abolished.

          • mickey says:

            It was ridiculous today

            Rins has suggested letting riders out by qualifying positions 5 seconds apart so the stewards can tell who is sandbagging for a tow

          • Jeremy says:

            That’s a pretty good idea. Just send them out in combined session order.

          • VLJ says:

            That would work, but as long as sandbagging for a tow remains legal, what difference would it make? We can already plainly see who’s doing it.

  5. Grover says:

    The fact he’s putting around on a 600 speaks for itself. He’s not ready and is just testing the waters, unsure that he’s up for MotoGP. But it seems that HONDA is willing to put him back on the track in a week at any cost. Perhaps MM will prove us all wrong in the end, but it may be better to sit it out, heal fully and then go for a race.

    • Burtg says:

      He can’t ride a MotoGP bike outside of legally sanctioned testing events.
      So he’s either going to ride the CBR1000rr or the CBR600rr.
      I’m guessing he thinks the feeling of the 600 is closer to his MotoGP bike. This isn’t about grabbing the more powerful 1000.
      Having owned both bikes, I can attest that the 600 is more nimble. I’m not surprised he chose the 600.
      And just so everyone knows, Marc is back. It’s been officially announced that he will race this weekend at COTA.

    • Jeremy says:

      There was some curiousity in the past when he was reportedly training on a 600 as to why he stopped using the 1000. Maybe the 600’s handling character is closer to the GP bike than the 1000?

      • Bob Krzeszkiewicz says:

        It’s against MotoGP rules to train on a bike of similar displacement. So the 600 is is only Honda option. If he was allowed to ride a liter bike, I’m sure he’d be on the RC213V-S instead, even given the bike’s age.

        • Dave says:

          I believe he did train on the “consumer” RC213V at one point during his recovery from the arm break.

        • Jeremy says:

          The rules allow any unmodified street-lagal motorcycle. He’s trained on the CBR1000RR and the RC213V-S. I would think the 213 is the logical choice, but he’s tried them all and ended up with the 600. So perhaps he feels that one is the best for reasons we could only guess at. Could be the handling is closest, or it could be that it is the least fatiguing which allows him to do more laps per training session. Who knows?

        • VLJ says:

          “It’s against MotoGP rules to train on a bike of similar displacement.”

          No, it most certainly is not.

          Where did you come up with that?

          • Bob Krzeszkiewicz says:

            I don’t know how I came up with that. Yes, I am incorrect. Something is limited like that, now I can’t remember what it is.

  6. Chip says:

    I’d echo the sentiments on the “eye doctor”. I’d guess the eye/vision issue is a consequence of neurological damage. But I’m also not a doctor, nor did I stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night. I think a Racer is going to want to race. The FIM and Honda should be looking out for Marc’s, as well as the other riders well being. If Marquez isn’t healthy enough to race and makes an error on the track, he’s not only putting himself at risk, he’s putting his fellow racers at risk. I don’t know enough about the FIM and their off track rules to know if there is a concussion protocol or not. His eyes could be fine, but if the CPU between his ears isn’t firing on all cylinders, that’s the concern. Just my 2 cents.

    • Dirck Edge says:

      Honda should have consulted you before sending him to Doctor Sánchez Dalmau, an
      Ophthalmologist. Apparently, his optic nerve issue isn’t something an eye professional should address.

      • Dave says:

        Has it been confirmed that the source of the problem is his optic nerve? I realize we’re across an ocean and getting translated news but I haven’t read anything that indicated that this wasn’t a neurological issue before now. I’m sure Dr. Sanchez is capable. Marquez is a very important athlete and he and his team can afford top care.

        • Jon says:

          https://www.crash.net/motogp/news/993847/1/marc-marquez-will-need-patience-delicate-eye-injury

          This says it’s his 4th cranial nerve – one of the nerves that moves the eyes and coordinates them tracking together. Certainly within the realm of an ophthalmologist. Also commonly affected by a head injury.

        • Dirck Edge says:

          Doctor Sánchez Dalmau

          Ophthalmologist

          “The neuro-ophthalmological evaluation carried out on Marc Marquez on Monday after the head injury that occurred at the Indonesian Grand Prix, shows a new episode of diplopia caused by a recurrence of paralysis of the fourth right nerve, with less involvement than the one that occurred in the injury in November 2021.

    • Jeremy says:

      This is the same specialist that operated on and corrected the paralyzed nerve for Marquez in 2011. He’s probably in pretty good hands, whether the doctor stays in a Holiday Inn Express or not. 👍

  7. Gene says:

    He likely already has CTE. You don’t see football players or even fighters with that disorder. It’s kind of like the fighter that is getting severely beaten but won’t quit and the corner is telling him how great he’s doing and to just hang in there cause he can still win. Honda is his corner and are pushing him to keep racing when they should be throwing in the towel. Honda are scum. 

    • Motoman says:

      Huh. You don’t see football players and fighters with CTE? I must be living in and alternate universe from you then.

  8. Jerry says:

    It does if he sees two of the same bike ahead of him, and he tries to shoot the gap between them.

  9. Mick says:

    This is just Honda wanting people to think about Honda. OK fine. I think that I have a very low opinion of Honda. How’s that? Next!

  10. fred says:

    Go get ’em, Marc! Hopefully he has healed fully and will be a contender for this year’s Championship.

  11. Dave says:

    Cleared by his “eye doctor”? Isn’t his diplopia a neurological issue?

    Somebody should save him from himself. He’s risking his life now.

    • Motoman says:

      MotoGP racers risk their lives every time they go out on track. I don’t think Marc’s decision to race or not race again creates any additional risk.

      • Dave says:

        Until they’re absolutely sure his brain is healed it does create more danger. He’s currently experiencing neurological issues which will interfere with his reflexes and judgement and his brain could be more susceptible to greater and more permanent damage if he takes another hit. Nevermind the risk it imposes on the other riders having someone who’s “not all there” and desperate for results wrangling a 260hp GP bike among them.

        Even if he escapes this, he’s risking a post retirement life with CTE.

        • Motoman says:

          Seems like everyone throws the CTE term around these days due to football. Moto racers can die in a heartbeat on track but don’t take repetitive blows to the head over a long period of time (the cause for CTE) as do football players. Very few racers end up with neurological problems when they retire.

          Orthopedic injuries are obviously more common and they deal with them. I’m sure Marquez will retire when he wants to and only he will understand when it is right for him.

          • Dave says:

            The famous X-games BMX star, Dave Mirra committed suicide after several years of dealing with CTE. I know several people who have long term issues from multiple concussions, none of whom were football players or boxers. It’s not just football players (though there are many sufferers of it from that sport). Your brain doesn’t care how it was damaged.

          • Motoman says:

            I get it Dave that any athlete can receive a head injury but moto racers are way down on the list of athletes that suffer repetitive head trauma. I used football as a primary example for obvious reasons. Remember Junior Seau? Anyway my original comment was about you staring that Marquez is NOW at risk for losing his life which made it seem like he wasn’t before he had his bell ring. Sorry to disagree with you.

          • Mick says:

            The guy does crash a fair bit. Though you don’t always crash on your head. It would be interesting to find out how many helmets were destroyed while his head was in them.

          • Dave says:

            Fair enough. He has suffered repeated head trauma and is missing races over two neurological episodes. A more accurate expression for my concern would be “now at greater risk”.