We’ve always gotten used to miracles big and small throughout Marc Marquez’s career. But at the Sachsenring he outdid himself. He was on his track, with a design that is a godsend for his physical ailments and with a Honda that had forgotten some of those issues, but the win he clinched remains a masterpiece. A success achieved after 581 days of fasting, a terrible injury, a series of surgeries and suffering. Until now.
“I still don’t know what I feel,” he tried to find words after tears of joy. “I was going through a tough time and a lot of people helped me… the doctors, Honda, my family, my team. You cannot get out of this situation alone. It’s an important win for me, but also for Honda because we ran almost empty and refueled.”
But he was on the line and he was alone.
“I knew I was on a good track for myself, but came out of a difficult situation with three falls in a row,” he recalled. ” I just drove and tried not to think about what I was doing and where I came from. I took a few risks when I saw a few raindrops. That made me think it was going to be my day. It’s true that in the end I’m the one who suffered, but it helps a lot to have people by your side.”
Marquez revealed that Mick Doohan also played a role in his resurgence.
“We met in Mugello and I told him I wanted to speak to him to find out what he was going through after his accident,” he said. “I understood so many things. I spoke to him on the phone for half an hour. Mick talked and I listened. It was like describing what was happening to me. At first he didn’t understand anything about cycling either, then he felt better, but he made mistakes that weren’t normal for him, stupid falls. Talking to him helped me a lot.”
Alberto Puig also gave him a decisive push.
“On Tuesday he called me and said, ‘You have to win on Sunday, you know.’ I replied that I was coming from three falls and he said ‘It doesn’t matter, you have to win.’ That made me more confident. There was also the rational part, represented by Emilio Alzamora, who told me to be careful. In the end I followed my instincts.”
That doesn’t mean that this race was child’s play.
“I only lost at one point on this track, when I changed direction followed by a right-hander. I don’t feel safe and secure there,” he revealed. “Mentally it was tough. The three crashes at Le Mans, Mugello and Barcelona came to mind. I didn’t think about my arm. I’ve done a lot of mental work to try to forget it, even if it’s not okay yet. That is the solution.”
The result was a win.
“It was an important win for the man. The driver isn’t what he was yet, but we’ll see in the future if I can drive the way I want to again,” explained Marc. “It’s definitely an achievement that’s different from all of them, even if I don’t know why. I’m not happier than usual. It was a very tough race mentally resulting from three crashes. The easiest thing would have been to settle for the podium, but that’s not my mentality. If I had fallen, everyone would have moved against me, but I followed my instincts.”
That didn’t betray him.
“It was hard to stay focused and never give up,” he continued. “Sometimes I realized that I was too stiff because I didn’t want to make mistakes. Then I forgot. I started to think that Oliveira is my brother Alex, like when in training one after the other. I believed in myself.”
“As I said on Thursday, this was a track where I didn’t have any physical limitations and Honda had fewer problems, so I attacked from the first session,” he defined. “Also, the day in Barcelona helped me a lot. That was my winter test. I could understand riding. This win gives me more motivation but I’m still not the same Marc as I was in 2019. It will take time and I already know that I will fight again in Assen. Then there is the summer break. It’s going to be important for me, but I don’t think I’ll win in Austria. I’ve never done it and I don’t think it will happen this year,” he said jokingly.
But now he is sure that he can go on vacation with a nice memory.
“I’m proud of what I achieved today,” Marc clarified. “When it comes to sports, you never have to look to the past, but now I have more motivation, even if I want to get even better.”
The road will be long.
“When I was home injured, I thought I would be strong when I came back. But after riding MotoGP for the first time I realized that I’m far from my level,” he said. “Things got difficult from there, so I tried to isolate myself from the outside world and just focus on myself. I was going through a difficult time, unlike when I had my eye problem. In this case three months was enough to solve everything. But this time it took much longer. My physiotherapist lived at my house for a year. After the Barcelona GP I decided to go back to my normal life and to be with my brother train, and I did.”
Some asked him enthusiastically about his expectations for the championship.
“I know I won’t win the title this year, so I don’t care where I go. Who remembers who finished second in 2005? Not me,” he smiled.