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King of COTA Marquez downplays victory probabilities in Texas


AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Marc Marquez is again in Texas after his newest bout with accidents and imaginative and prescient issues with shaken confidence and lowered expectations for the Grand Prix of the Americas, a race he has dominated for practically a decade.

These try occasions for Spain’s six-time MotoGP champion as he confronts uncommon uncertainty on his Repsol Honda and even some concern of what might occur if he has one other arduous crash.

Marquez is racing this weekend after a scary crash in warm-up laps for the Indonesian Grand Prix on March 20 left him with double imaginative and prescient that knocked him out final Sunday’s race in Argentina.

“In the way of confidence I feel much worse, that’s obvious after another injury, with the vision. It’s something that makes me scared,” Marquez mentioned this week. “(But) I can’t fear that I cannot crash. Racing is my passion.”

A podium end Sunday on the Circuit of the Americas would go a good distance towards energizing what has been a troubling season for Marquez, whose final championship was in 2019. His 2020 season was worn out by accidents from a crash within the first race, and 2021 was a battle to regain his profitable kind.

He nonetheless gained thrice final season, together with in Austin, solely to crash in a coaching session. That fall disrupted an ocular nerve and brought on a bout of double imaginative and prescient.

And that’s what occurred once more with the crash in Indonesia that despatched Marquez to the hospital for a concussion. It was hours in a while his flight house to Spain when the double imaginative and prescient issues began once more.

“I don’t remember much. I remember more from the video and the images than what I felt” within the crash, Marquez mentioned “I feel lucky about that crash” that it wasn’t even worse.

Lucky however nonetheless unnerved in regards to the recurring imaginative and prescient issues.

“It’s something that makes you scared, it makes you very uncomfortable, even for a normal life,” Marquez mentioned. “The first week was difficult. The second week was better every day.”

Regaining the arrogance to journey and take dangers at excessive velocity has confirmed troublesome, even for a racer who already ranks among the many best within the sport’s historical past on the age of 29.

“Third, fourth, fifth injury in three years. And difficult injuries,” he mentioned. “Two weeks ago, I wasn’t motivated to even come here. I was motivated to sit on the sofa and not take care of anything. My brother (Honda LCR rider Alex Marquez) helped me a lot, pushed me to train again.”

Crashes occur in MotoGP and sometimes. A mid-race tumble in 2019 is the one time Marquez hasn’t gained in Austin.

Marquez spoke together with his physician in regards to the danger of extra imaginative and prescient issues when he inevitably falls off his bike once more. The downside first occurred again in his Moto2 racing days after a crash in 2011.

“He said in (Indonesia) the impact was huge. I would have the same risk this weekend, in one year or three years,” Marquez mentioned, acknowledging the injured eye nerve “is one of my weak points.”

Marquez has gained the Grand Prix of the Americas seven occasions since 2013. The Circuit of the Americas is a Formula One monitor the place the lengthy straights and tight corners reward the pure horsepower of the Honda engines. In another yr, he could be the runaway favourite to win once more.

“The approach cannot be the victory,” Marquez mentioned. “Now I’m just trying to regain the confidence.”

Championship chief Aleix Espargaro of Aprilia Racing mentioned he’s glad to see Marquez again on the monitor. And he gained’t dismiss Marquez from victory or podium probabilities Sunday.

“Marc is one of the best in history, especially strong here in America,” Espargaro mentioned. “You still have to look at him. We’re happy he’s back. What happened to him is extremely difficult. You have to be very brave and have a strong mentality to overcome that.”

The 32-year-old Espargaro has been a daily in MotoGP since 2014 however didn’t earn his first victory till final week in Argentina in profession begin No. 200.

“I feel more relaxed than ever in my career,” Espargaro mentioned. “I dreamed of my first victory and I achieved it, and now I do know I can win.

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