Repsol Honda has confirmed Marc Marquez will not race in the Andalucia MotoGP after failing to set a lap time during qualifying in Jerez.

The defending champion made a remarkable return to action this morning in FP3, just four days after undergoing surgery for his fractured wrist, but having left himself on the back foot by skipping Friday’s free practice sessions he struggled for pace and comfort in FP3 and FP4.

Indeed, though he felt ‘OK’ in FP3, he was unable to complete a long run in the hotter FP4. He would head out on track at the start of Q1, but pulled in after just one lap without setting a time.

 

 

“He’s a little in pain,” confirmed HRC boss Alberto Puig. “This morning [FP3] it was not so bad, but understanding that ‘not so bad’ is still pain because it’s a broken bone but he could still go and the plan for the afternoon was to try a longer run. In the longer run, probably because of the laps and the heat, he started to feel more pain and feel not so comfortable.

“We decided to go with the plan, to come here, skip Friday and try Saturday. This morning was like a test to see if he could ride the bike and it was OK, then in the afternoon finally we saw it was not so east. So we have decided that it is best not to race.”

Reflecting on the decision to defy expectations by pushing for a return to action this weekend rather than wait for round three in the Czech Republic in two weeks’ time, Puig says Honda was fully behind Marquez’s determined actions

“If I would not be worried [that he could injure himself again] I would be an idiot, of course I am worried but this is motorsport. Marc is a clever guy, he is smart and he always follows his feelings and physical goals. When he saw it was not possible, he stopped. We are worried normally when the guys are fit, imagine when they are not fit.”

The setback puts further strain on Marquez’s hopes of a seventh MotoGP World Championship, not least because the two riders considered his biggest threat for the title – Yamaha’s Fabio Quartararo and Maverick Vinales – locked out the top two positions in qualifying again.

 

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