Marquez has been out of action since his aborted comeback attempt at the Andalusian Grand Prix last July just days after an operation on the right arm he broke in the opening round of the 2020 campaign.
Having undergone a further two operations since, Marquez is finally showing signs of recovery and hasn’t ruled out racing in the Qatar GP on 28 March – though won’t be present at the pre-season test beforehand.
When asked about what kind of Marquez can be expected upon his return, Puig admits he doesn’t “have a clear answer” – but insists what Honda expects from him is irrelevant next to what Marquez will expect from himself.
“I think every rider has a time in his life where they have a big injury,” Puig said during Honda’s 2021 launch presentation last Monday.
“Marc had a big injury last year, not so big but really long in time. This took him out of racing for a long time, but you can’t change what you are, he is a true champion and a very mature rider.
“In regard to your question, I don’t have a clear answer. The only thing I know is that he will find a way to still be Marc Marquez and this you can only do by yourself.
“Of course, the team will help him, we will support him like always at 100% but what we expect, what we hope, what we think, is nothing.
“The important thing is what he expects from himself and what he thinks he must do to go back to his full potential as he had before the injury.”
Puig was also asked why Honda elected to partner Marquez with Pol Espargaro this season, with the team boss adding: “We hope that he can bring results to the team, this is the reason, the target, when you get a rider.
“It’s true that he has experience in the past, good experience, he’s not a kid and his target will also be to fight with all the riders and also against Marc because this is like a reference point, let’s say.
“We hope that he can understand our bike soon and we expect and hope for a big level of competition inside the team because this is what really makes a team stay alive.
“When you have a good level of competition inside your team, the level grows inside your team.
“So, we expect this, we of course hope that he likes our team and our bike and we wait for him and we will try to give him our best material and our best bikes so he can show his potential.”