Six-time MotoGP champion Marc Marquez will miss the season opener Qatar Grand Prix, organisers said Monday, as he continues to recover from surgery.
Marquez fractured his right arm on July 19 when he fell in the first Grand Prix of last season, an injury that required three bouts of surgery, the last in December.
He returned to training at the beginning of February and expressed positivity about his recovery but had not set a date for his return.
While Marquez’s medical team reported a “good clinical response” following the operation for an infected pseudoarthrosis of the right humerus, they decided not to rush his return to the track, the statement said.
“After the last review with the medical team, the doctors have advised me that the most prudent thing was not to take part in the Qatar Grand Prix and to continue with the recovery plan that we have followed in recent weeks,” Marquez said in the statement.
“I would have loved to be able to participate in the opening race of the World Championship, but we will have to continue working to be able to recover the optimal conditions that allow us to return to competition.”
Marquez, who handed over the MotoGP crown last season to his compatriot Joan Mir, has practically ruled himself out of the title fight this year, despite Mir’s comments that he is always a favourite.
Qatar, which will host the opening two races of the 2021 MotoGP season, has offered the Covid-19 vaccine to the sport’s entire paddock.
The Losail circuit will stage back-to-back races on March 28 and April 4.
It also hosted pre-season testing for MotoGP this month and welcomed Moto2 and Moto3 testing from March 19-21.