Marquez broke the humerus in his right arm in a crash in the latter stages of the opening round of the 2020 season and wouldn’t race again following an aborted comeback attempt at the Andalusian GP.
Following a second operation to fix the plate inserted into his arm during his first surgery – which broke when he opened a patio door at his home – Marquez’s recovery proved slower than expected, with the cause eventually deemed to be a result of an infection.
He began treatment on the infection following his third operation in December, and has since shown signs of improvement – though won’t ride in the Qatar test next month.
Marquez admits his lowest point during his layoff came in the Autumn when it became clear his arm wasn’t improving, but never thought he wouldn’t be able to race again.
“Yeah, of course it was tough and hard on the mental side – physical side, but also the mental side,” he said following Honda’s 2021 launch event.
“Especially it was really hard around September, October, because in that period every week, every day during all the months the feeling in my arm was exactly the same, there was no improvement.
“It wasn’t getting worse, but there was no improvement. I mean, I felt like something inside was moving and this was my feeling.
“Then I had many different checks to try to find that infection, but on the analysis and all the tests I did it was negative, always.
“But something was not in a good way. On the other side, the doctors were saying ‘you must wait, you must wait’.
“I was waiting, and I was doing what they say. But the feeling was the same, and those two months were really hard.
“But then after third operation, it was hard because it was 10 days I was in hospital and on those days the feeling was not the best one.
“But since then, I started to make some steps with the arm, on the feeling and then I tried to be always optimistic.
“I never thought I will not race again. I always thought about when the next race is, when is the next test.”
Marquez will have another check on his arm in mid-March and hasn’t ruled out starting the Qatar GP on 28 March – but insists “the doctors will decide” if he is in a position to do so.
Late last year Marquez admitted his attempt to come back at Jerez was a “mistake”, but added on Tuesday it would have still been an error if he’d deferred his return to the third round at Brno as “the bone still had not any consolidation in two weeks”.