Àlex Márquez is the younger brother of Marc Márquez. But he is also the boy who sleeps in the next room – he was in Cervera, Lleida, and also now that they have both moved to Madrid –, his training and travel partner, the friend with whom he stings the Play or doing motocross. She is her confidante. The one that saw him fall and get injured again last November, when he suffered a head injury that caused him, again, ten years later, a double vision problem. The one sitting next to him on the plane back from Indonesia three weeks ago when the Repsol Honda pilot noticed that his vision was failing again.
The diplopia, caused by an affectation of the superior oblique nerve of the right eye, had reproduced. And Marquez sank. He explained it himself this Thursday at the Las Américas circuit, where this weekend the fourth grand prix of the season is being held. And where has he returned? Little convinced. And with some disappointment. The same one that he dragged throughout the winter of 2020, when he did not see any improvement in that humerus fracture that kept him standing for nine months. Márquez, who had the approval of the doctors to compete a week ago in Argentina, although he gave it up – “I was about to return, but I did not have the motivation to take that risk, and I did not want to take it,” he said – returns because I felt I had to.
“Many times you come for fun or because you really want to. But right now, after the fall I had in Indonesia, there is no desire. It is so. Not everything is always a matter of desire and passion. Now I don’t feel like it, but I know I have to go out on the track, rediscover those sensations and have that confidence again, ”he conceded to the DAZN microphones this Thursday.
A day later, he surprised by his conviction, tenacity and aggressive style during the first free practice sessions. “Two weeks ago I didn’t even have the motivation to train; I didn’t even want to come here. But the people around me, my brother, helped me a lot to get back in the gym”, he explained. The recent experience and the maturity of the little Márquez, three years younger, have taught him to deal with 93 and its injuries, which have made him bitter in the last two seasons. In these weeks, Marc, an optimistic man by nature, always smiling, lost his smile. And he didn’t even get it back to pose on Instagram, as he himself admitted in one of his last posts —the serious face, the apparently healthy eye—: “Today I don’t feel like smiling, but we’ll find a way to do it again” . In those days he also made comments that his brother did not like a hair. “Don’t say that, you’re Marc and you’re going to get out of this”, encouraged him.
“Marc must have no desire to go through the whole process again,” says Pep Font, a psychologist at CAR Sant Cugat, who continues: “He must have little desire to see how he is, to progress, to see how far he goes and finally assume what is the commitment that you assume that weekend, what risks can you take. After everything he’s been through these years, he must be very tired of going through all that process. Now all you have to do is apply yourself professionally. He knows how to do it. It would be better to do it with desire, but if he does not have it, he must act accordingly”. And he did that. He went out to FP1 and set the fastest lap in a flash. In the afternoon, wearing sunglasses inside the box to take maximum care of his vision, he finished with the sixth fastest time of the day. The stage accompanied. Austin is the circuit where he won his first MotoGP race at the age of 20. Of the eight grand prix he has played there he has won seven.
“The most important thing is that I try to enjoy the weekend. And forget a little where the result is. If you enjoy, you will win again. This is Austin and here he is the sheriff”, Àlex Márquez spurred him on in statements to the press. “If I’m here it’s because the passion for running outweighs the suffering. I’m here to run, not to think about whether I might fall,” Marc had said on Thursday. And in those it is.
“After three head injuries, he has a nerve that is slightly damaged. Every time she suffers a strong blow to the head, that nerve is affected. And she needs some time to recover. It is logical that now every time she suffers a trauma she fears that she will not recover from that double vision problem. It is a danger that exists, ”says a neurologist familiar with the case. On the three occasions in which the runner has suffered diplopia – to recover from the first he needed five months and surgery – he has never received guarantees that this injury was easily surmountable. The risk is high. Marquez knows. And he tries to live with it riding a motorcycle that in Austin reaches 346 km / h.
A separate issue will be that of recovering the sensations with a Honda that this year has undergone a radical change and that forces him to ride in a different way than he got used to since that year of his first victory in Texas.
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