An emotional Marc Marquez left nothing on track as he returned to the MotoGP Sprint podium for the third time in 2023, a gift to the Repsol Honda Team.
Having shown strong and consistent pace throughout the weekend, Marc Marquez headed into Q2 ready and eager to perform. A final weekend with the Repsol Honda Team spurred the #93 on to take extra risks in order to see out the 11-year relationship in the best way possible. Unfortunately, a mistake into Turn 2 on his final flying lap would end Marquez’s charge towards the front row and see him line up in ninth. With overtaking in Valencia notoriously difficult, the eight-time World Champion was left frustrated.
Launching perfectly as the lights went out, Marquez immediately made-up ground and lined up a big move into Turn 2. He’d keep the pace of leaders as he, Binder and Martin reeled in and passed early leader Maverick Viñales. With a Sprint podium in his sights, Marquez was giving no ground and set the fastest lap of the race on lap four – a 1’29.809. Marquez’s challenge would last until the final laps when catching Martin and Binder finally became impossible, crossing the line in a well-earned third place.
Arriving to the Sprint podium with thousands of fans and the members of his Repsol Honda Team below, Marquez – who has enjoyed 11 seasons with HRC – fought back the emotions to celebrate his third Sprint podium of 2023.
Joan Mir’s weekend was forced into an early finish, the #36 deemed unfit after his fall on Friday. His focus will now be on recovering and preparing for the post-season test on Tuesday.
Sunday is set to be an emotional day for the entire Repsol Honda Team as Marc Marquez prepares to line up on the Honda RC213V for the final time and celebrate a relationship which has brought six MotoGP World Championships and five Triple Crowns. Every lap of the 27-lap race will have all involved giving their maximum to end the season, and an incredible era of MotoGP, in the best way possible.