‘It looks like no-one wants to win the title,’ says MotoGP king Marquez

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Picture: Red Bull Motorsports

Ahead of his home race this weekend, MotoGP Catalunya, reigning but injured MotoGP World Champion Márquez talked about his targeted comeback, a return to training and the title fight in his absenc

How do you feel physically and mentally?

From the mental side it was hard in the beginning. Because you know, there was nothing to do at home, the days and even the hours were very, very long but now we have a plan a for each day.

We do two sessions of physio and then we also train in the gym with my trainer, the left arm, the legs, along with some cardio.

So now the mental side is feeling much better, the moment where I suffer the most is during the race weekend because you are watching the race, all the practice sessions from the TV and it is not easy.

How are you feeling now you are training again?

I have started cycling and running and I expected it to be much worse because for like four, five weeks I was completely just on the sofa watching TV. But I started running and immediately from the first day I felt good and I started to see improvements, with cycling too.

The most important thing is that all the movements are ok and now step by step with my physio Carlos, he is living with me in my house, we will start to work hard to improve, following the correct steps in the correct time.

Do you miss training?

I missed training, especially the first two weeks but what I’m missing more is being on a motorbike. Now I start to feel ready, but this is when it becomes a little dangerous because when you feel ready, you want more and more.

We saw you last week already training with protection, are you still using it?

Yeah, we have had some different kinds of protections. In the beginning I had a lot of protection, from the hand to the top of the arm and it was like completely rigid.

Then step by step we used this carbon protection that you saw on social media that was from the elbow to the shoulder. And now, in normal life I am not using anything expect for training, especially when I am cycling, still I am using that carbon protection.

How long do you think it will be before you can race again?

Three months is a lot. When I was with the doctors we tried to understand and to listen to different opinions, different doctors and they said around three months.

Do you know which race will be your first race back?

So, in which moment I don’t know, I know that I am closer to being on a bike, that is the most important.

Last race in Misano, it was the first race where the Repsol Honda Team were closer to the front. What did you think about it?

The Repsol Honda Team is, I think, in a difficult situation. Of course, I feel like I am important there and I feel that we can achieve many good results but when you have a rookie rider on the other side of the garage, and then I was out from the first race, then you can lose the direction a little bit.

But now it looks like it’s normal, a rookie has a process and my teammate, that’s also my brother of course, has a good process. But the Tuesday test in Misano was very important because they found something there and then from that point Nakagami and my brother, Alex, did a big step. P6 and P7 overall in the final result, I think is a good result for them.

From 2013 you have won six titles, now is a hard moment for Honda. Many people are using this bad luck to attack and say the bike isn’t easy and the strategy is wrong. What do you think?

I have a lot of time now and I read many things but, in the end, if you take the last ten years, Honda has had a perfect strategy. Why? Because it is the team that won more titles, more team titles and more Constructor Championships.

I think Honda is doing a great job during all these years. Every manufacturer is struggling for one year, but it’s like this sometimes. I mean every MotoGP bike has a different character and then the riders must adapt to the bike. Honda has this philosophy for many many years in the 500cc and MotoGP classes.

For example, when I speak with Doohan, with Criville, the philosophy was the same. Honda have a good bike, but you need to be 100 per cent fit, you need to push the bike a lot but then when you get the feeling with the bike, you can be really fast.

What do you think about this season? Seven races to go, it’s still completely open…

It’s strange, it’s strange because it looks like nobody wants to win! Nobody wants to be at the top, I mean is difficult to understand but if you are a rider you can understand it a little bit.

One thing is to be a rider that if you win, it will be fantastic and if you win it will be something incredible but when you are the rider that needs to win then something changes and you have many more doubts because you don’t know if you should attack, if you should defend.

You know when you are the rider that is coming from second place, third place, fourth place and you have something in front of you, you have nothing to lose, you just attack and then you ride with more confidence because you don’t have anything to lose but when you are at the top and you have to win, this is when the doubts start to be in your mind, in your body and it becomes more difficult.

About the last race, a new circuit, Portimao – what do you think about this track?

Portimao will be interesting to finish the season. I hope to be there, I hope to race there with MotoGP because I tested there with a Moto2 bike in 2012 – a long time ago but I remember the circuit and it was very nice. Many ups and downs, following the natural layout of the land, it was really nice, and it was very fun to race there.