Marc Marquez might never return to his peak after MotoGP injury lay-off

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The German GP can teach us everything we need to know about whether Marc Marquez will ever return to his spellbinding best, says Neil Hodgson.

Marquez, already a legend of MotoGP at the age of 28 with six premier class world titles to his name.

But his horror crash at the start of 2020 led to multiple surgeries and questions over whether the previously unflappable star will ever be himself again.

Marquez has crashed out of each of his last three races as he pushes his body to the limit, despite still clearly being in pain.

The Spaniard returns to one of his favourite venues this weekend, Germany's Sachsenring, hoping he can show glimmers of his old self.

But former World Superbike champion Hodgson believes that if this weekend doesn't go as desired for Marquez, it could be a sign that he is never going to be himself ever again.

The BT Sport pundit said: "This is a track on which he has won 10 times in a row on. He is amazing around the Sachsenring.

"It's a unique track because it's not really down to the bike, it's down to the rider and Marc has always been able to make it work.

"I've actually been slightly disappointed in him. I expected more from him but obviously seeing him ride, his awkward body position and then the talk about the injury to the shoulder from the previous 2009 operation, all that added up, you sort of understand why he's struggling.

"I'm not sure we're going to see him as he was. I have got a horrible feeling we're not, because he was so good; he was the best motorcycle rider I have ever seen, he was a machine. He could just literally walk on water.

"I actually don't think we will. I don't think he will ever quite be as good as he was at the end of 2019."

There also remains huge question marks over the Repsol Honda bike that Marquez is riding and whether it is hindering his return to form.

"There are definitely issues about the bike, but that is what has been interesting through Marquez's reign over those seven world titles in MotoGP. He has never been on the best bike.

"People who hate Marquez say 'imagine if you get him off the Honda' and people in the know go 'yes, he would win by a greater margin'.

"Unfortunately, because of his success – it was the same with Ducati and Stoner, Ducati built a bike nobody could ride and Stoner won on it and Ducati thought it was because of the bike, but it wasn't, it was because Stoner was a genius – the same has happened with Honda.

"That gap between Honda and the other manufacturers has grown and with Marquez being there, they could always make up the difference. But now he's had that year out, the gap has got bigger.

"Marquez is trying to get back up to that level and that's why he keeps crashing.

"I have a sneaky feeling he's going to crash again this weekend because he is not going to be able to accept battling for fifth place or whatever."

  • BT Sport is the home of MotoGP in the UK. Catch all the action from the German GP exclusively live on BT Sport including practice, qualifying and the race. The weekend’s action starts from 8am on Friday 18 th June on BT Sport 2.
  • Marc Marquez

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