Honda insists it will not rush Marc Marquez’s comeback from a broken right leg, despite the disruption to the Spaniard’s preparations for his MotoGP title defense.
Marquez suffered the break while riding a dirt-track bike in Spain last week. He will be forced to sit out the forthcoming three-day test at Sepang, which starts on Wednesday, and is also a doubt for a three-day run at Phillip Island in early March.
Honda downplayed the potential cost of missing out, saying Marquez’s pace and feedback had already established a strong platform for his 2014 campaign. The 21-year-old was quickest on all three days of 2014’s opening test in Malaysia earlier in February.
“On the one hand it would be good for him to be on the bike again before the start of the season,” Honda team principal Livio Suppo said. “But on the other hand I’m already totally confident in him because we saw at the first Sepang test that he was already immediately very fast.
“He was already able to choose the new parts of the bike, so we’re not in the middle of any big changes. The priority is always the rider’s body (health), especially at the moment as we don’t have any drama on the technical side.”
Suppo added that the team would delay a decision on whether Marquez will travel to Phillip Island for as long as possible.
“Marc is doing his rehabilitation and tomorrow morning he will visit the doctor again, so then we’ll try to understand what to do for the next test. We have to ship the bike one way or another, so we still have three full days to understand.”
The team expects Marquez to be fully fit in time for the season-opening Qatar Grand Prix on March 23.