Marc Marquez working on his return

Marc Marquez, the biggest star in MotoGP (now that Valentino Rossi has retired) is working hard on his comeback. The key to success on-track? Apparently, it’s off-road riding.

To pump up the fans, Honda’s been showing its factory raceteam star in action, flogging a motocross bike to get himself back into riding shape. Marky Mark is currently rehabbing from injury—his latest crack-up in October, 2021, saw him struggling with double vision in the aftermath of the crash.

It was a bad way to end the 2021 race season, a season in which Marquez ended up seventh overall in the end-of-year standings. He’d missed almost all of 2020 due to injury, and never quite showed the same speed as he’d had before when he returned. It’s no surprise; Marquez has had some very bad crashes in the past decade, and at the end of the 2019 season, his shoulder was a mess. Reportedly, he couldn’t even hug his brother Alex on the podium without worrying about a dislocation.

Add up a mangled shoulder and arm with the recurring double vision issue (he’s had this problem before, reportedly due to nerve damage in a crash), and Marquez now has significant physical problems that are hindering his career. He knows how to be fast, but his body isn’t cooperating. Or at least, it wasn’t. From Honda’s video, we can see that he’s back behind bars. He’s hoping to be at the Sepang test, which kicks off on February 5.

If he makes it to Sepang, and eventually the 2022 season starter on March  (Qatar, as usual), Marquez will be in a new role. Now, he’s an underdog. Even at the start of 2021, people thought he might come back and rip up MotoGP with ease, just like before. Now, two seasons removed from his last championship (and they haven’t been easy seasons!), Marquez finally is cast as a potential Comeback Kid, with Yamaha’s Fabio Quartararo (the 2021 champ) his primary target.

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