Honda Confirm Marc Marquez Will Be At Sepang Test After Treatment "A Complete Success"

After a few days riding a motorcycle on track again, Honda has been passed fit to ride at the Sepang MotoGP test on February 5th and 6th. The Spaniard underwent a medical check on Monday, January 24th and was given the go ahead to ride.

What is most remarkable about the press release from the Repsol Honda team is the very positive language used. The treatment route chosen, a conservative route avoiding surgery and using exercises and passive treatment instead, is described as having been "a complete success". This suggests Marquez will be at 100% fitness with regards to his vision, with only his shoulder a slight concern.

Marquez will ride the radically redesigned 2022-spec Honda RC213V at the Sepang test, alongside teammate Pol Espargaro.

The Repsol Honda press release appears below:


Repsol Honda Team confirm Marc Marquez for Sepang Test

Back to top

Paddock Pass Podcast Episode 260: Danilo Petrucci On The Dakar, His Future, And Who He Wants To Win MotoGP

The latest episode of the Paddock Pass Podcast brought to you by Fly Racing and Renthal Street has a very special guest. Danilo Petrucci joins Adam Wheeler, Neil Morrison, and David Emmett to talk about his adventures racing in the Dakar Rally, his future plans, and how he sees MotoGP.

It was a lively and charming conversation, with Petrux talking to us from the back seat of his car as he drove home after a hectic media schedule, but he was as engaging as ever. He talked about the surprising levels of stress involved in racing the Dakar, how many times he thought about packing up and just going home, but deciding to keep on, and the tedium of the liaisons between stages. He also talked about his desire to go back and take a proper crack at the race, and why he will be racing in MotoAmerica next year.

Back to top

Hiroshi Aoyama Looking To Launch MotoE Team To Support Asian Ride

Former 250cc world champion and Honda Team Asia manager Hiroshi Aoyama is now seriously considering starting up a new project: the MotoE World Cup. In contrast to the Moto2 and Moto3 teams he manages that are backed up by Honda, Hiro is trying to form this new project as a completely personal scheme.

“As you have seen, Asian riders recently started coming to Europe and taking part in the world championship races one after another. On the other hand, unfortunately, the number of seats available for them in the world championships is quite limited currently. Therefore, after just a few years’ participation, some riders had to give up fighting in the world championship and go back to their home countries. It always feels like a great pity to me that they had to miss their opportunities and let their experiences go. If there were some more seats available for them in some classes and they were able to remain in the world championships, they can stay in Europe and keep on improving their skills by fighting with top riders. Although MotoE is a World Cup, subsidiary to the world championships in the regulation, it is almost similar to them in effect. That is the reason why I had an idea to organize a brand-new team in MotoE alongside Honda Team Asia.”

However, he had to face a contradiction. As their names show, Hiro Aoyama’s managing Moto2/Moto3 teams are strongly backed up by Honda, while the MotoE World Cup competes under a different manufacturer; until 2022 with Energica, and 2023 onwards with Ducati. Hence, if he wants to organize a new MotoE project, it will not be under the Honda wing.

Back to top

MotoGP News Round Up: Miller Misses Ducati Launch, COTA Resurfaced, Spa Upgraded, Marquez Rides Again, And Rossi's In-Depth Interviews

As the start of the MotoGP season grows closer, the news cycle is starting to ramp up. Websites are starting to be able to report on things that are actually happening, rather than desperately thrashing around looking for filler content. So here's a round up of the latest developments in MotoGP.

The first Covid casualty of 2022

Jack Miller took to social media last night to announce that he had unfortunately tested positive for the coronavirus. "As you can tell, I'm still here in Australia due to testing positive for covid. I'm currently unable to travel, and will miss the team presentation." He was not suffering any symptoms, he emphasized. "I just want to let you all know I'm doing fine, no symptoms, continuing training on the farm."

Back to top

Ramon Forcada Interview: On Dealing With 5 Different Riders, Rookies vs Veterans, Ride-Height and Michelins

It would probably be fair to describe the Petronas Yamaha SRT team's 2021 season as disappointing. After an exceptional year in 2020, they started 2021 with high hopes. Franco Morbidelli had finished 2020 as runner up to Joan Mir in the championship, and between them, Morbidelli and Fabio Quartararo had won six races.

For 2021, Morbidelli was joined by MotoGP legend Valentino Rossi, now back and fully fit after a period off with Covid-19. But their expectations were dashed in what would turn out to be a bizarre and unpredictable year. They managed just a single podium from Franco Morbidelli at Jerez, finished second to last in the team standings, lost their title sponsor at the end of the year, and then the team was disbanded and reformed as RNF Racing for 2022.

Nothing quite encapsulates how strange 2021 was for the Petronas Yamaha SRT team like the parade of riders which veteran Catalan crew chief Ramon Forcada had to work with through the season. He started at Qatar with Franco Morbidelli, who started to struggle after a training crash in which he damaged the ligaments in his knee before Le Mans. Morbidelli kept going with a very painful and weak knee through the Sachsenring race.

Back to top

Guest Blog: Mat Oxley - Can Aprilia fight for its first MotoGP victory in 2022?

Aprilia’s technical director Romano Albesiano talks openly about the factory’s fight to get to the front and the challenges of MotoGP engineering in general

Aprilia is still MotoGP’s underdog, but if the Noale factory continues climbing on the upward curve since introducing its 90-degree V4 that may no longer be the case in 2022, or at least less so.

The switch to a wider-angled V4 – basically the same configuration as used by Ducati, Honda and KTM – from the previous 72-degree unit allowed Aprilia to build a better-balanced motorcycle with improved engine performance in both corner entry and exit.

Back to top

Paddock Pass Podcast Episode 259: Gazing Into The 2022 Crystal Ball

In the latest episode of the Paddock Pass Podcast, Adam Wheeler, Neil Morrison, and David Emmett discuss what they see happening in the 2022 MotoGP season. After Neil's Big Reveal - he has made the excellent decision to try to obtain a motorcycle license - the crew sink their teeth into some of the big questions of the coming year.

They kick off with what to make of Marc Marquez' recovery from diplopia, and just how competitive he will be this season. They discuss how he will fit on the new Honda, and whether he starts the 2022 season as favorite. They then turn to Ducati, and whether Pecco Bagnaia is the man to beat in 2022. Is the Ducati superior enough, and has Bagnaia made the kind of progress which would render him unbeatable.

Back to top

Marc Marquez Expects To Be Ready For Sepang MotoGP Test

Marc Marquez completed 65 laps of the Portimão circuit on Sunday, after his first return to riding a street bike since his training accident in October 2021, which saw him suffer a concussion and diplopia. After a long recovery period, Marquez rode a motocross bike last week, and told the media during the HRC motorsports launch on Friday that he hoped to do a test at a Grand Prix track soon. Soon turned out to be Sunday, and the Grand Prix track turned out to be Portimão.

After initial posts on social media, today, the Repsol Honda team issued an official press release with details of the test, as well as a video, in which Marc Marquez gives his impression of the test. The news is very positive: Marquez had no issues with his vision, despite riding at over 300km/h, and felt happy and comfortable on the bike.

Back to top

Marc Marquez Back On Track: Rides An RC213V-S At Portimão

As he announced at Honda's global motorsport launch, Marc Marquez has taken to a Grand Prix track once again. Together with brother Alex, he rode a Honda RC213V-S street machine at the Portimão circuit in Portugal. Though HRC have yet to issue a press release, both Marquez brothers and the Repsol Honda team posted photos and a video on Social Media.

Though it is premature to read anything into the posts, the positive tone would appear to suggest that the day went well, at least. The aim of riding a fast road bike on a GP track was to assess how his vision was at high speed, Marquez told us on Friday. He also said that he would discuss how the test went with the doctors treating him before making a decision on how to proceed from there.

A press release from Honda with more details should follow in the next day or two.

Back to top

Room For Optimism: What We Learned From The Honda MotoGP Presentation

Team presentations tend to be rather turgid affairs. Hours of talk for a few brief moments of enlightenment. Which is why we sit through all those hours of talk, of course, because if you listen carefully and read between the lines, you might learn a thing or two.

Past experience left the MotoGP media looking at the Honda motorsport Q&A with some trepidation. Would it be worth sitting through the long presentations to dig out nuggets of interest?

That calculation changed on Thursday night, when HRC announced that Marc Marquez had been riding a motorcycle again, and would be present at the launch on Friday. Both developments which meant the media would get a chance to talk to Marquez about his eye injury, about the accident which caused it, and and how soon we might expect to see him on track again.

Back to top

Marc Marquez Back On An MX Bike - Recovery Progressing Well

There has been a huge step forward in Marc Marquez' recovery from diplopia, the double vision he suffered as a result of a crash riding enduro. After consulting with the doctor treating his eye condition, the Repsol Honda rider was given the go ahead to ride a motorcycle again. Using the lessons of his previous bout of double vision - after the monster crash in practice in Sepang 2011 - Marquez was cautious in his choice of venue, deciding to ride a motocross bike at his local track in Lleida, Spain. In 2012, he had first ridden a bike at Alcarras, at a track shared with BSB teams. News of his ride quickly leaked, something which was less of a concern at the MX track in Lleida.

Back to top

Francesco Guidotti On Moving From Pramac To KTM: "When You Jump Into A Factory Team, The Only Goal Is To Win"

It was a surprise, but in retrospect it is quite clear why KTM made one of the biggest moves on team personnel by recruiting Pramac team manager Francesco Guidotti.

When the 2021 season ended, we were only expecting to get one announcement about team personnel before the start of 2022: who would be the team manager of Suzuki. Rider announcements would come later, after the team launches and the preseason tests started, as all six manufacturers face the challenge of trying to sign riders with the grid almost completely out of contract at the end of the season.

So news of Francesco Guidotti leaving the Pramac Ducati team after 10 years as team manager for KTM came as a big surprise. First announced by Italian sports daily Gazzetta dello Sport’s Paolo Ianieri, then confirmed by KTM after announcing the change of role for Mike Leitner, who started and led the MotoGP project with the Austrian manufacturer. The move came as a surprise also for Pramac team owner Paolo Campinoti, with some reports suggesting the Italian took the departure of the man who helped him bring the Pramac team to its current level in the world championship very hard.

Back to top

Paddock Pass Podcast Episode 258: Mat Oxley Looks Back At Valentino Rossi's Career

The Paddock Pass Podcast are joined by a special guest in this week's episode. Veteran journalist, TT winner, and prolific author Mat Oxley takes a look back at Valentino Rossi's long career with regulars Steve English, Adam Wheeler, Neil Morrison, and  David Emmett.

The reason for the conversation is Oxley's encyclopedic new book on Rossi's career, Valentino Rossi: All His Races, covering all of Rossi's motorcycle races, from the European 250cc championship through 125, 250, 500 and MotoGP, as well as his outings at Suzuka. Together with the crew, Oxley discusses what makes Valentino Rossi special, how his outward persona differs (or not) from the Rossi behind closed doors, what made Rossi special, and how he changed the sport.

Back to top

Guest Blog: Mat Oxley - Can Honda be Ducati’s biggest threat in 2022?

Honda’s 2022 RC213V is the factory’s biggest MotoGP redesign in 16 years – so what’s the focus of the new bike and what does HRC technical director Takeo Yokoyama think it can achieve?

If Ducati’s Desmosedici is favourite to win the 2022 MotoGP title, who or what might stop it?

The last two MotoGP championships have been won by inline-fours – Suzuki’s GSX-RR in 2020 and Yamaha’s YZR-M1 last year. Why? Because both factories built good bikes, but also because Honda’s six-time MotoGP king Marc Márquez was out of the game and because Michelin’s new-for-2020 rear slick suited inline-fours better than V4s.

Back to top

The 2022 MotoGP Silly Season Primer: Who Is Likely To Move Where Next Year?

It is the second week of January, and there as yet no substantial rumors of MotoGP rider contracts being signed. Compared to recent years, that is a bit of a late start to Silly Season, given that all but a handful of riders have their contracts up for renewal at the end of 2022.

In past years, January has been a hive of activity. In 2020, there were rumors over the new year period that Maverick Viñales was being courted by Ducati, with Yamaha forced to make an early announcement to keep the Spaniard in the Monster Energy factory team (and we all know how that turned out). A couple of weeks later, rumors followed that Ducati had signed Jorge Martin, and at the end of January, we learned that Fabio Quartararo had been signed to the factory Yamaha squad, displacing Valentino Rossi.

Two years earlier had seen a similar story, with Yamaha signing both Maverick Viñales and Valentino Rossi up in January, in time for the team launch. And to think, Valentino Rossi bemoaned Casey Stoner's move to Repsol Honda for the 2011 season as a decision taken early, when the deal was sealed after the Jerez round of MotoGP in early May, 2010.

By those standards, the current lack of movement on the contract front almost qualifies as tardiness. Riders are not jumping on contracts early, and factories are not pushing hard to sign riders before they get poached by someone else.

A different environment

Back to top

Pages

Subscribe to MotoMatters.com | Kropotkin Thinks  RSS