Marquez will launch his return to racing in Arag…
The 29-year-old Spaniard has been out of action since undergoing fourth surgery on his right humerus (upper arm) in early June. Two weeks ago, his medical team gave him the all-clear to ride his Honda CBR600RR training bike to assess his fitness. That outing went well and was followed by two days of riding in post-Grand Prix San Marino testing last week, during which he was the fastest of Honda’s five MotoGP riders, including the MotoGP test driver Stefan Bradl.
Marquez is delighted with his recovery, announcing that the bone is 100% repaired, although it will take longer to rebuild the arm muscles needed to control a MotoGP bike on the limit. His current goal is therefore not to fight for victory, but to assess his racing fitness and start the process of recovering with all his strength, because he knows that the only way to achieve this is to drive. a MotoGP motorcycle. At the same time, it will give Honda engineers vital feedback as they work to create the 2023 RC213V.
MotoGP missed the excitement of having Marquez on the grid. The 59-time MotoGP race winner has an exciting and aggressive style all his own, so it’s no 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, overtaking him twice on the last lap and missing another victory by six tenths of a second. It’s that kind of determination and refusal to accept defeat that has made Marquez such a hero around the world.
Marquez has an incredible 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 won no less than five MotoGP races aboard his RC213V on the circuit, in 2013, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019.
The return of Honda’s most successful premier-class rider of all time (his 59 victories puts 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 review Marquez’s data to help them get the most out of their machines.
His teammate Pol Espargaro (Repsol Honda Team Honda RC213V) is certainly delighted to have Marquez back in his garage, to help him find better direction after a series of somewhat disappointing and unlucky results in recent races. Last time out at Misano he was the innocent victim of a Turn-One pile-up, where other drivers collided and crashed, taking Espargaro with them. He injured his right wrist in the fall but hopes to be complete with Aragon.
The 31-year-old Spaniard has two victories at the Aragon Grand Prix. He won the 125cc race in 2010 and the Honda-powered Moto2 race in 2012. However, he didn’t enjoy the best times on the track in MotoGP – his best result to date was sixth in 2014, his rookie season.
Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda IDEMITSU Honda RC213V) arrives in Aragon boosted by this week’s announcement that he has renewed his contract with LCR Honda for 2023. This means Honda’s four-man roster for next season is complete: Marquez will be joined by 2020 MotoGP World Champion Joan Mir in the Repsol Honda team, while Nakagami is joined at LCR Honda by three-time MotoGP race winner Alex Rins.
The 30-year-old from Chiba is quick at Aragon. Two years ago, he achieved his first MotoGP pole position at the Teruel Grand Prix at the circuit, the week after securing a fine fifth place at the GP of Aragon, less than two seconds from a podium.
Nakagami’s teammate Alex Marquez (LCR Honda CASTROL Honda RC213V) had his best MotoGP race at Aragon two years ago, when he took a super second place, just 0.263 seconds behind Rins. It was his last MotoGP podium, so the 26-year-old Spaniard will be hoping the track will be kind to him again, after a promising run at Misano, where he grabbed his first top ten in a while.
The younger brother Marquez visited the Aragon podium several times during his time in the junior and intermediate classes. He finished third in the 2013 Moto3 race and second in 2014, en route to winning the Moto3 World Championship that year. In 2016 he finished second in the Moto2 race and three years later he finished third, a result that helped him win the 2019 Moto2 world title.
MotorLand Aragon is the third of four races this year in motorcycle-crazed Spain: Jerez, Barcelona, Aragon and Valencia. The counter-clockwise circuit was the last of four to be built, designed by renowned circuit designer Hermann Tilke. The track is fast and hilly, with the first section climbing up the side of a hill, before plunging on the other side, through a steep and difficult chicane. A very long main straight – 0.968 km/0.6 miles – and a fast final corner complete the course.
MotoGP has no time to rest after Sunday’s races as Aragon is the first of three races on three consecutive Sundays. The next race is at the Twin Ring Motegi the following weekend, the first Japanese Grand Prix since the start of the global pandemic, which is immediately followed by the Thailand GP on October 2. The paddock then gets a week off before back-to-back races in Australia and Malaysia. The 20-race season ends in Valencia on November 6.