A superhuman effort by reigning MotoGP champion Marc Marquez was not enough for the Spaniard to commit to racing in this weekend’s second round from Jerez.
Marquez fractured his right humerus in crash at Turn 4 last weekend, making a charge from the rear of the field having relinquished the lead in a wild off-track excursion on Lap Four.
The 27-year-old underwent surgery on Tuesday and was widely expected to be absent for the second leg of the Jerez doubleheader.
But spellbound by his passion and grit, Marquez partook in Saturday’s practice session before pulling out of the weekend after only one lap in qualifying.
Marquez was 19th-fastest in his opening practice outing and closed to within one-second of leading Honda rider Takaaki Nakagami in the lead up to qualifying.
“What I did during all the week is try to follow my instinct and try to especially understand my body and be honest to my body,” Marquez said after confirming his exit.
“And it’s what I did. And for example, Monday, if you asked me, I would say it was impossible to race in Jerez.
“But then Tuesday Dr. [Xavier] Mir did a great job [with the surgery] and Wednesday I was able to do some push-ups, I was able to be at Cervera in my town, put on the leather suit, be on the bike, and I said okay, it’s possible.
“I was able to ride also in a good way, in a good feeling, but then, suddenly, I stopped in the box and when I go out again, something changed. I mean, immediately.
“And was like, kind of, the inflammation or something, the arm got a little bit bigger. Then I think maybe [it] pressed a little bit some nerve and then I was losing the power, on the second run this afternoon, in some corners that I didn’t expect.
“And at that point you need to be honest with your body, and understand the situation. And it’s what I did.”
Marquez’s withdrawal means the Repsol Honda squad will be represented by Marc’s younger brother Alex, who will take the start from a disappointing 21st after crashing out in Q1.
Championship leader and pole-sitter for tonight’s Grand Prix, Fabio Quartararo, now has a prime opportunity to establish a 50-point margin over Marquez a week after the Frenchman claimed a landmark maiden career win.