Marc Marquez' recuperation is proceeding apace, but he is still not at 100%. That is what the Spaniard told a press conference today at the presentation of one of his personal sponsors, Garmin, the manufacturer of navigation equipment. Though his vision is still improving, he is still not fully fit and is uncertain of being fit in time for his planned return on March 7th in a private test at Portimao, and even his appearance in the season opener in Qatar a month later is not absolutely certain.
Marquez is still suffering with double vision problems while looking up, he told the press. His vision had improved massively after the operation he had to correct the problem - a result of the massive crash he had at Sepang, which left him with double vision in his right eye - but the symptoms remain when looking up. That is a major obstacle, given that when a rider is in a racer's crouch, he spends nearly all of his time looking upwards.
"Physically, I am feeling much better," Marquez told the press, "I saw a notable improvement after the operation." But the problem is that eye injuries - especially injuries involving the nerves in the eye, as is the case with Marquez - are extremely complicated, and a prognosis for recovery is hard to give. "[The doctors] cannot guarantee me 100% that I will recover completely," Marquez said, "but it is extremely probable that I will, and they have said that if nothing unusual happens, I should recover totally." Because the doctors are unable to give him a fixed date for recovery, Marquez explained, it was uncertain when he would be able to start testing his Catalunya CX Suter Moto2 machine. Even the first race at Qatar was in doubt, Marquez telling the press "There is a small possibility I will not be able to go to Qatar, but the doctors cannot provide me with any guarantees." The plan is to concentrate on his recovery, he said, and to concentrate on improving his vision.
Apart from his vision, he was in better shape than ever, Marquez said. He had been training in the gym, on a bicycle and had even recently started training on a motocross bike again. Marquez emphasized that he wanted to be in the best possible shape and absolutely ready to go once his vision had returned. He would already have missed much of the preseason due to the injury, and he did not want to leave anything else to chance. He was confident that the Suter would be in good shape, describing it as "a bike capable of winning" and his focus was on being fit enough to compete as soon as possible.
The Monlau Competicion / Catalunya CX team has scheduled Marquez' first test for Portimao on March 7th.