Marc Márquez He appeared in the Mugello press room accompanied by Alberto Puig to announce that, after the Mugello race, to which he will start twelfth, he will get off the Honda with no return date yet scheduled, to undergo surgery for the fourth time in less than two years of the right arm. It will be on Thursday, at the Mayo Clinic in the United States, located in Rochester, Minnesota, and Joaquín Sánchez-Sotelo will intervene. Despite the blow that he supposes, he takes it as something positive with a view to next season.
-What do you have to say?
-First, thank you all for your presence. I’m going to have surgery next Thursday. Since I had the first injury to my right arm, everything was quite complicated, including the infection, which was the worst and quite serious, and Dr. Samuel Antuña and his team did a fantastic job in these 18 months trying to take care of that infection to recover bone. That intervention was a success, but it is true that for a certain period of time after getting on the bike I have felt many limitations and even so I have not thrown in the towel at any time. I have continued to push following the recommendations of the doctors and I also adjusted a little the opinion of Dr. Ángel Cotorro, who during the last months made me work with him to give my right arm this last chance, but I have realized at this beginning of a season that I honestly am not enjoying, that I am suffering a lot, in a lot of pain and I have no power. I can’t ride like I want and I’m starting to injure my left shoulder, because I’m pushing too hard by overcompensating for deficiencies, making this shoulder work more. My performance is not bad, but it is not what I want and with the medical team we have evaluated the situation since October and we have made the decision.
– Was the operation considered before?
-When I had the first problems with my vision, I spoke with the whole team to evaluate the possibility of doing something with my right shoulder, but the bone was not completely consolidated and they told me that the risk was too high and I had to take care of my health and keep calm. Then I returned to competition, I worked a lot during these four months, but I didn’t see any improvement and I had a subsequent meeting after Jerez, where we re-evaluated everything and then we started to consider the possibility of another operation. It is true that it was difficult and I gave everything in my power to avoid the operation. Reopening the arm is not what I want, but it is the way to solve a problem that is clear, which is the excess rotation of the arm. As you can see, my riding style is not the same, not because of the bike but because of me. My right arm position is not natural, but I was still capable of winning races, so that’s why this year I tried to give it a chance and, after a meeting with Antuña and Cotorro, they analyzed it and saw that the rotation was very and Samuel Antuña told me that if I wanted to do this operation, I had to have it done by Dr. Sánchez.Sotelo at the Mayo Clinic, because he considers that he is the number one expert in the world and with whom I already consulted last October. Although it seems like a nightmare, I think I’ll be back soon and although it will be hard and I don’t know what the times will be like, the time to have surgery is now. There is a problem, the excess rotation, and we’ll see if we can return soon, but in any case, don’t rush.
-Is it worth so much effort made so far?
-I moved to Madrid to be in contact with Cotorro and Antuña, but even with everything I realized that I couldn’t, that the suffering was greater than the fun. They began to analyze everything to see that there was a possible rotation in the humerus and, when I had the first problem with diplopia, we already assessed it but the bone was not yet consolidated and the doctors told me that it was too risky, and health is what first. I have insisted and I have given everything as you have seen and I said that I could not continue like this so they did a series of tests in which it was confirmed that the bone was completely welded and that is where we started working together with Samuel Antuña and Ángel Cotorro , who told me that the best specialist was Joaquín Sánchez-Sotelo. We contacted him at Le Mans and with a technique they have at the Mayo Clinic they printed my bones in 3D, and yesterday they told me to go, that the rotation of the humerus is too great and to lead a normal life it was already complicated, so to ride a motorcycle, even more so. That is why we have decided to stop because we are clear about our objective and I want to continue on this path, which I think is the right one and although there will be a lot of sacrifice, we know it will be worth it.
-What guarantees do you offer that the intervention is going to go well and if it is more or less complicated than the ones you have had so far?
-One of the things that reassured me the most yesterday was that there may be a rotation in the humerus, but I was afraid that they would tell me that it was not so much, that I would decide, and that would be the complicated part. After doing all the tests and measurements, they told me, “come on, you’re driving but your arm has to compensate with your muscles.” I have worked on it throughout the year until at one point I said enough is enough and yesterday the doctors helped me make the decision by assuring that the rotation was excessive, much greater than they believed. As for the operation, it is true that they were much more scared with the infection, with the third. That was the most difficult and the one that created the most uncertainty. It is a complicated operation, but I know that I am in the best hands since Samuel Antuña told me that if it were him, the operation would be done at the Mayo Clinic with Joaquín Sánchez-Sotelo, so I have full confidence that everything will turn out well.
-Did that call yesterday sound like hope?
-Logically, yesterday’s call, although it was bad news since I had to have surgery, was good news because it reassured me, it told me where the problem was and it wasn’t a sensation. I have tried everything, I have worked and I have avoided everything to work on my own, to try to lie to you, but for my own good, to try to avoid the team and not talk about it, to be convinced and not notice the limitation but there was a moment in which I had to say stop because my left shoulder started to hurt. In the recovery I have not been able to do a race one hundred percent and then manage and that is where it makes no sense. With yesterday’s call that they measure your bones, print them in 3D and call you and tell you “come now”, next week, even if it’s hard and hard to believe, we organized it yesterday. I take a flight on Tuesday, Dr. Sñanchez-Sotelo operates on me and at 29 years old I think I can still give a lot to Honda and motorcycling.
-How are you psychologically?
-If I decide to have surgery it is because I find myself wanting and motivated to recover, if not, with the arm that I have a normal life I do it, but they are a pilot, I am ambitious and I want more. I decide to have surgery together with the opinion of the doctors who advise me, because I am mentally prepared, otherwise I would throw in the towel and that’s it, but my life is not prepared to be cowardly but I have to follow my line and at this moment I I keep avoiding the world. I don’t care what they think. I’m still on my way, which I think is the right one, and that’s why it’s being done now, because it doesn’t make sense to go on like this, making saves like in Jerez or Le Mans or here, but when there’s such a big limitation you consider everything and we decide the Better option.
-How big is your love for this sport? It would be understandable to say enough to this torture.
-It is still passion and my lifestyle and throwing in the towel has been close, you think about everything, but I am still an ambitious person who fights for what he wants, for the goals that I set for myself and as long as they are within the limits that I set every weekend. Right now the limit is exceeded many weekends. The level of suffering, of concentration, of pain, but as I said, yesterday’s call left me alone. I know that there is a very clear problem with the rotation in the humerus, apart from some things in the shoulder that they will take advantage of to serve and all that will help me, but the passion is still greater than the suffering and that is what that makes me keep pushing and continue with the goal and with the sport that makes me happier.
-Do you have an idea of what the recovery time and return to competition will be?
-I have no idea about it, because the doctors have told me that after the operation we will go step by step, but surely it will be a long time. We have to do it because I am suffering too much and every weekend it is a nightmare to continue pushing, but it is true that my goal is the same, to return, and the way to return is to prepare for the 2023 season. I want to thank Honda for respect the decision and believe in it, but we’ll see, riding like this I have ups and downs but it’s not the way I want to ride because I’m suffering a lot and I’m causing other injuries and I can’t continue like this.
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