New World Champion Marc Marquez is due to have surgery on his oft-dislocated left shoulder in early December, giving him the full six weeks recovery time before testing begins for next year.
The joint popped out after a not especially vigorous congratulatory hug from former Moto2 rival Scott Redding on the slow-down lap after he had secured his fifth MotoGP title at Motegi, but was immediately relocated by his brother and a friend, who had been waiting trackside.
It was, Marquez said, a regular event, that now needed to be fixed. It had also happened in practice at the British GP in 2013, “and many times when I am training”.
Marquez was wearing special “Mick Doohan” gloves and boots, with the Australian flag as a motif, in tribute at Doohan’s to the rider who had previously won five premier-class titles on a Honda.
But he was treating the race “just like any other weekend,” he said, even though he had already achieved personal success.
The next goal is to help Honda win the Constructors Championship and Repsol Honda the Teams crown, the coveted triple-header. To do the former he has to finish three points ahead of the best Ducati. The situation is more complicated in the contest between the teams. If teamsters finish first and second they can score a maximum of 45 points, thus there are still 135 points available for the last three races. Before tomorrow’s race, the Repsol squad has 51 more points than Movistar Yamaha; and 67 more than Ducati. Most of the factory Honda team’s points have come from Marquez, with team-mate Pedrosa making a significantly smaller contribution.
By Michael Scott