The six-time MotoGP world champion severely fractured his right arm in a fall during last year’s Spanish Grand Prix, excluding him from the 2020 season and leading to a nine-month injury hiatus as he recovered from three surgeries.
In his absence, Honda saw its first winless season since returning to MotoGP in 1982, with only two podiums.
Marquez ended this series in Germany with a sensational victory at the Sachsenring in June, a product of the left-hand running of the track, which relieves his regenerating right arm.
Although Marquez missed the first two races of 2021 and is still not 100% fit, Marquez is now the leading Honda rider in the overall standings in 11th place, four points ahead of LCR’s Takaaki Nakagami.
The 2021 season has been largely difficult for Honda riders due to the lack of rear wheel grip on the current RC213V’s, and no other HRC runner has made it to the podium other than Marquez.
In an exclusive interview with Motorsport.com, he said he would be in the 2021 title hunt despite Honda’s shortcomings if he does not recover from an injury.
“I think the Marc before the injury could fight for the title on this bike,” said Marquez, who won 12 races in his final 2019 season.
“I probably couldn’t win that many [races] like 2019, but I was able to fight for the world championship and very often be in the top three.
“And I think so for one simple reason: I was much better on the tracks on which I didn’t feel the physical limitation or felt less.
“But I can’t always compensate for that myself, the bike has to help me, and it doesn’t do that now. Neither me nor the rest of the Honda riders.
“Now my body allows me to ride a bike, but not to do magic.
“If I’m far behind the other drivers of the brand, I would think something is wrong. But I’m ahead of them, even though I missed two races. “