Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez has been punished with a double long-lap penalty for the next round of the 2023 MotoGP World Championship in Argentina, though the eight-time GP World Champion could be forced to miss the next event anyway due to a hand injury.
Having begun the weekend proclaiming to be in his best shape since his dominant 2019 MotoGP title win, Marquez went on to have an eventful opening weekend at Portimao that peaked with a pole position and podium in the Sprint Race, but ended with him being condemned for triggering a nasty accident that eliminated Miguel Oliveira.
Indeed, having surprised himself with a run to pole position on Saturday morning - despite prompting some grumbles about his aggressive towing tactics - and a subsequent run to third in the sprint race, Marquez expected to have a harder time in the longer feature event.
In the end though, he’d only reach lap three when - having already gotten his braking wrong with a deep attempt to pass into Turn 3 on the opening lap - he misjudged it again at the same bend.
Clipping the back end of Jorge Martin’s Pramac Ducati ahead, the unsettled Marquez couldn’t stop his Repsol Honda ploughing into the side of Oliveira’s RNF Aprilia up ahead, chucking both off with force.
With Marquez receiving the ire of the unimpressed crowd as he was booed whenever he emerged on TV screens, the Spaniard was subsequently given short shrift by the stewards too, who subsequently handed him a double long lap penalty next time out in Argentina.
However, a somewhat perplexing tweet posted to the official MotoGP account says ‘Marc Marquez has been declared UNFIT’, though didn’t state for what and when.
It is known Marquez has suffered a hand injury in the incident with a ‘possible fracture to first metacarpal bone’, with the communication adding he will undergo further treatment at the Dexeus Hospital in Barcelona.
If Marquez is fit for the next round at the Termas de Rio Hondo circuit, then it hasn’t been stated whether he will be entitled to serve his long-lap penalty in the shorter Sprint Race as his next outing, or whether it will be held for the main GP.
His teammate Joan Mir was forced to take a long-lap penalty in today’s main feature after being punished for his collision with Fabio Quartararo in the sprint race.