MotoGP 2022
Round 15

Marquez To Launch His Racing Comeback At Aragon

es MotorLand Aragón

Honda’s six-times MotoGP World Champion Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team Honda RC213V) will make his much-anticipated return to race action at MotorLand Aragon this weekend.

Marquez To Launch His Racing Comeback At Aragon

The 29-year-old Spaniard has been out of action since undergoing a fourth operation on his right humerus (upper-arm) bone in early June. Two weeks ago his medical team gave him the go-ahead to ride his Honda CBR600RR training bike at to assess his fitness. That outing went well and was followed by two days of riding at last week’s post-San Marino Grand Prix tests, in which he was the fastest of Honda’s five MotoGP riders, including MotoGP test rider Stefan Bradl.

Marquez is delighted with his recovery, announcing the bone to be 100% fixed, although it will take longer to rebuild the arm muscles required to control a MotoGP bike at the limit. His current target is therefore not to fight for victory, but to assess his race fitness and begin the process of regaining full strength, because he knows the only way to do that is to actually ride a MotoGP bike. At the same time he will give Honda engineers vital feedback as they work towards creating the 2023 RC213V.

MotoGP has missed the excitement of having Marquez on the grid. The 59-times MotoGP race winner has a thrilling, aggressive style all his own, so it’s no great surprise that the last time there was a last-lap overtake in MotoGP was at Aragon last year, where Marquez battled for the lead with Italian Pecco Bagnaia, twice passing him on the final lap and missing out on another victory by six tenths of a second. It’s that kind of determination and unwillingness to accept defeat that has made Marquez such a hero all over the world.

Marquez has an amazing record at Aragon, which hosted its first Grand Prix in 2010. The following year he won the Aragon Moto2 race, aboard a Honda CBR600-powered Suter machine. And he’s won no less than five MotoGP races aboard his RC213V at the track, in 2013, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019.

The return of Honda’s most successful premier-class rider of all time (his 59 wins put him ahead of former Honda great Mick Doohan, who won 54 premier-class races between 1990 and 1998), will certainly boost his fellow RC213V riders, who can examine Marquez’s data to help them get more from their machines.

Team-mate Pol Espargaro (Repsol Honda Team Honda RC213V) is certainly delighted to have Marquez back in his garage, to help him find a better direction following a run of somewhat disappointing and unlucky results at recent races. Last time out at Misano he was the innocent victim of a Turn-One pile-up, where other riders collided ad crashed, taking Espargaro with them. He hurt his right wrist in the fall but hopes to be at full strength Aragon.

The 31-year-old Spaniard has scored two victories at the Aragon Grand Prix. He won the 125cc race in 2010 and the Honda-powered Moto2 race in 2012. However, he’s not had the best of times at the track in MotoGP – his best result so far is sixth in 2014, his rookie season

Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda IDEMITSU Honda RC213V) comes to Aragon boosted by this week’s news that he has renewed his contract with LCR Honda for 2023. This means that Honda’s four-man line-up for next season is complete: Marquez is joined by 2020 MotoGP World Champion Joan Mir in the Repsol Honda Team, while Nakagami is joined at LCR Honda by three-times MotoGP race winner Alex Rins.

The 30-year-old from Chiba is fast at Aragon. Two years ago he achieved his first MotoGP pole position at the circuit’s Teruel Grand Prix, the week after he had ridden to a fine fifth place in the Aragon GP, less than two seconds outside a podium finish.

Nakagami’s team-mate Alex Marquez (LCR Honda CASTROL Honda RC213V) had his best-ever MotoGP ride at Aragon two years ago, when he rode to a super second place, just 0.263 seconds behind Rins. That was his last MotoGP podium, so the 26-year-old Spaniard will be hoping that the track will once again be kind to him, after a promising race at Misano, where he scored his first top-ten result in a while.

The younger Marquez brother visited the Aragon podium several times during his time in the junior and intermediate classes. He was third in the 2013 Moto3 race and second in 2014, on his way to winning that year’s Moto3 World Championship. In 2016 he finished second in the Moto2 race and three years later he finished third, a result that contributed to him winning the 2019 Moto2 world title.

MotorLand Aragon is the third of this year’s four races in motorcycle-crazy Spain: Jerez, Barcelona, Aragon and Valencia. The anti-clockwise circuit was the last of those four to be constructed, designed by renowned racetrack designer Hermann Tilke. The track is fast and undulating, with the first section climbing a hillside, before plunging own the other side, through a steep and challenging chicane. A very long main straight – 0.968km/0.6 miles – and a fast final corner complete the layout.

MotoGP has no time to rest after Sunday’s racing, because Aragon is the first of three races on three consecutive Sundays. The next race takes place at Twin Ring Motegi the following weekend, the first Japanese Grand Prix since the start of the global pandemic, which is immediately followed by the Thai GP on 2 October. The paddock then gets one week off before back-to-back races in Australia and Malaysia. The 20-race season concludes at Valencia on 6 November.

Marc Márquez
Marc Márquez 93
Repsol Honda Team
Well, what can I say? I am very excited to return to MotoGP this weekend, especially at such a special track for me like Aragon. The objective this weekend is not to go out and fight straight away, it is to build up everything and prepare well for the future. Build myself, the bike, everything. Misano was good but the race weekend will be different, there’s more intensity and less time to rest so it will be a different kind of challenge. I have been doing a lot of recovery work and continuing in the gym as well as riding a bike again before this weekend. I am very happy to be back! 

Pol Espargaro
Pol Espargaro 44
Repsol Honda Team
We had a good test in Misano and I have had a positive week training and recovering at home, so I am looking forward to racing in Aragon this weekend. Of course all the local fans provide a nice boost and after what we found during the test, I’m aiming for a positive weekend. It’s important to start this period well because we have a lot of races in not a lot of time, so we need to build momentum and carry it to this series of races. Our first job is to confirm what we found in Misano and see how the weekend develops. 

Takaaki Nakagami
Takaaki Nakagami 30
As everyone now knows I will stay in MotoGP another year with the LCR Honda Idemitsu team. Now that I have a clear mind about my immediate future I feel so motivated for this weekend. So let’s make Aragon a positive weekend for the team and for myself! 

Alex Márquez
Alex Márquez 73
Another home GP, so obviously I am really motivated. After Montmelo [Barcelona], Aragon is the race that’s closest to my original hometown. I have really good memories of the track, in MotoGP from 2020, and also from the lower categories, Moto2 and Moto3. It will be a big challenge again. We always have doubts about how fast we can be, so for sure it will be a special weekend and we arrive with high expectations, like last year, when we had a tough weekend – I wasn’t able to be fast. This time we will be 100% concentrated to ride with full intensity from the first moment, just trying to fly! And to be with the fans. I will try to push to enjoy the weekend and have fun – this will be the main key for me. 

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