Marquez’s impressive comeback within a comeback…

Despite missing two races, the six-time king of MotoGP was the fastest rider on track for part of the race, proving he has lost none of his legendary speed. He would certainly have been fighting for victory had he not suffered a small temporary technical problem at the start, which forced him to accelerate off the grid at a substantially reduced speed, so that all the drivers who had lined up behind him passed . .

That put him in last position, with 23 of the world’s fastest runners in front of him. Marquez did not lose his head in such a stressful situation, but rather kept his cool and pushed forward at an amazing pace, despite this bumpy circuit, which makes it more difficult than ever for the riders to control their powerful MotoGP bikes. .

Already at the end of the first lap he was in 18th place. By the third lap he was in the top 15 scoring positions and four laps later he was in the top ten. Of course, the closer to the front, the faster the riders were, so their final progress through the pack wasn’t as quick as before. He spent the closing laps battling back and forth with reigning MotoGP world champion Fabio Quartararo for sixth place, a contest he won by 0.143 seconds.

The race statistics highlight the incredible race he ran. At the end of the first lap he was 4.387 seconds behind the leader. In the end, he was just 6.617 seconds behind the winner, despite having to find his way past 18 riders, working his tires incredibly hard in the process.

Márquez considered the Indonesian GP the worst of his career. He crashed four times over the weekend, largely due to an unexpected rear spec change, including a nasty climb in the morning warm-up, which ruled him out of the race and triggered another case of diplopia. That forced him to miss the Argentine GP last weekend and he was only fit on Tuesday to race here.

He’s been riding conservatively for most of the weekend, riding short runs and not pushing too hard to conserve his energy for the race.

This was only his second race aboard Honda’s new 2022 RC213V, while MotoGP’s restricted pre-season testing schedule limited all riders to just five days on their bikes before the first race in Qatar last month. Marquez is confident that he is starting to find a good direction with the machine, which will help him attack the corners more aggressively when the championship moves to Europe later this month.

His teammate Pol Espargaró (Repsol Honda Team Honda RC213V) had a very tough start to the weekend, with severe stomach discomfort, which left him very physically exhausted for the rest of the weekend, thus interfering with his program set-up for the race on this super complex circuit with its 20 curves and bumpy asphalt.

The 30-year-old Spaniard was still feeling weak yesterday, qualifying 12th, which put him one row behind his teammate, who had qualified 9th. He started well, immediately moving into the top ten, passing his teammate on lap seven of 20. But as the race progressed, his physical condition soon took its toll and he was unable to drive at his usual level. . At one point he considered withdrawing from the race, because he had so little power within himself, but he bravely continued to cross the finish line in 13th position.

Espargaró now has 11 days to rest and recover, as he examines data with his team to extract more of the latest RC213V’s potential in time for the next race at the Algarve International Circuit, Portugal on April 24.

Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda IDEMITSU Honda RC213V) finished less than a second behind his RC213V teammate in 14th. The 30-year-old from Chiba has been working hard to improve the feel of the front end, so he can attack the corners with more confidence.

Alex Marquez (LCR Honda CASTROL Honda RC213V) had another challenging weekend, trying to adjust to the 2022 RC213V. The 25-year-old former Moto2 and Moto3 world champion struggled to find a decent speed over the three days. He qualified 23rd, well below his usual position, and dropped out of the race during the early stages, trying to work his way into the scoring positions. Marquez hopes that returning to Europe, where he is more familiar with the racetracks, will help him start moving forward after a rocky start to 2022.

The MotoGP grid has already completed the season-opening race of fast races in Qatar, Indonesia, Argentina and the USA, so now it’s time for the riders and teams to return to Europe, where the the next 12 races. The paddock then leaves Europe for the Japanese GP at Twin Ring Motegi in September.