Will Marc Marquez Be Ready For The 2012 Season?
That may be the most difficult question to answer of the 2012 preseason. After suffering a crash at Sepang caused the Moto2 rookie to lose his shot at the 2011 Moto2 world title, the double vision problems he suffered as a result have continued throughout the winter. Now the 2012 season is just around the corner, but Marquez' problems are not fixed yet.
Motomatters.com spoke to the man behind Marc Marquez on Monday. The 1999 125cc World Champion Emilio Alzamora talked about the dramatic end to Marquez's 2011 season, the improvement his eye problem has shown during the last few weeks and his hopes for a complete recovery before the 2012 season starts next February: "Everybody knows that since Marquez crashed at Sepang, he has been suffering from an eye problem", said Catalunya Caixa Suter Moto2 team manager Alzamora. "He sustained some damage to one of the four nerves that control his eye. That made him see double when staring up or down. It is a kind of problem that should simply disappear in a matter of time, so just after Marquez's accident doctors told us that it could take up to four months to recover completely. But then there was a different doctor who said that it could be fixed earlier. That's why Marc kept his championship ambitions to race in Valencia. But when we went to Ricardo Tormo for the last round of the season, it became clear that there was no chance for Marc to take part in the race".
If losing the championship against Stefan Bradl was not enough, Marquez' vision problems were still severe enough that he could not take part in the IRTA Moto2 tests at either Valencia or Jerez. However, Marquez started training after the season was over and has improved a lot since then: "Now things look much better for him", Alzamora continued. "He is quickly recovering his vision and started doing gym work and cycling some time ago. After trying cycling, Marquez has even started training on a motocross bike. He is not having so many problems on the MX bike because of the speeds are slower. But it will still take some time for him to be in perfect form again".
"We have to be patient. We are all used to riders suffering all kinds of injuries, broken bones and so on. That's why now it is strange to have to wait for improvements to his vision problems. All this has been unlucky. At least now he is only experiencing double vision on his left hand side. We hope he can recover completely for the last weeks of January, so maybe he can get back on his Suter for the IRTA test on February 8th in Valencia. We will find out more in the coming weeks. He is not in his best form at the moment. That will be essential if he is to get back on the track. However, we are confident about this because everything is going well".
We also asked Alzamora about Marquez getting back on track with his Suter before February, if his recovery went meant he was ready ahead of the IRTA test: "Because of the FIM testing restrictions, Marquez is not allowed to practice at official MotoGP racetracks like Jerez, Montmeló or Valencia, but if he does feel better before the IRTA test, we are also considering holding a private test at somewhere like Almeria".
As you can imagine all this situation has been very frustrating for Marquez and his team, but Alzamora is also happy to see how Marquez's frame of mind is getting better and better everyday: "Just after the crash Marc was very upset and nervous. He was also having headaches, but that was the first stage of his eye damage, and, as he has been feeling better, his morale has also improved. We are looking forward to him being 100% for the IRTA test in Valencia".