Former MotoGP king Marc Marquez has admitted he 'exploded' with emotion after finishing his first race in more than a year.
The Repsol Honda man took seventh place at Portimao, crossing the line only 13s behind winner Fabio Quartararo which the eight-time world champion deemed 'incredible'.
“I’m a person who likes to keep the emotions inside, but when I arrived in the box with all my mechanics I just exploded and I couldn’t control the emotions,' said Marquez.
“it has been a very long time that I’ve been dreaming about today, finishing a MotoGP race and it’s the biggest step in my rehabilitation, my recovery and to feel again a MotoGP rider was my dream and it’s what I did today.
“So, when I arrived in the box, of course I was tried and I was exhausted. But it was the explosion of emotion that I couldn’t control, but was very nice.”
“Maybe the hardest thing was the first laps because I was not in my place. You know in school when you play football with the older guys, they overtake you where you want.
So, in the first laps I didn’t feel in my place, I didn’t have the pace, I didn’t have control of the bike and then everybody started to overtake me.
“But then I was calm, didn’t fight and just found my place and as soon as I found my place I started to increase my rhythm step-by-step and I was able to do my personal best lap in the end of the race.
“In the end I felt better and I was trying to catch Espargaro again, but then suddenly my body said, ‘Now it starts here’.
“The last six laps I just was sitting on the bike trying to finish the race. But the most important thing is to finish the race.
“And then if we check, to finish the race only 13 seconds behind Quartararo, this is something incredible.”