until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League


Why Honda won’t replace injured Marquez at MotoGP finale

by Simon Patterson
2 min read

until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League

Honda MotoGP test rider Stefan Bradl will not deputise for the injured Marc Marquez at this weekend’s final round of the 2021 MotoGP season.

The Japanese manufacturer instead has hinted at just how important next week’s post-season test at Jerez is by sitting out the German at Valencia in favour of sending him to it fully fit.

Bradl has been Honda’s go-to replacement for Marquez throughout all his injuries over the previous two seasons. Most recently riding at the opening two races of the year in Qatar as Marquez continued the rehab on his badly broken arm, he then jumped in again last weekend at Portimao after Marquez suffered a concussion while training.

With news emerging this week that Marquez’s injuries were more serious than first believed, it was expected that Bradl would once again join the field at the Valencian Grand Prix.

However a statement from the team today said: “On Tuesday it was announced that Marc Marquez will miss both the Valencia Grand Prix and the Jerez Test due to diplopia after a training crash.

“The Repsol Honda Team have elected not to field a replacement for the Valencia GP weekend.”

Marc Marquez

That hints at the importance of next week’s one and only post-season test at Jerez, which will kick off on Thursday and run for two days at the Andalucian circuit.

Honda will continue to develop a significantly revised RC213V at that test, a bike which first appeared at the post-race Misano test last month and which surprised many by appearing to incorporate a substantial amount of changes from the current model – a bike which has regularly been derided as among the most difficult and least rider-friendly machine on the grid.

And with Marquez also set to sit out that key test too, thanks to the eye injury he first suffered in 2011 and which has reappeared this week following the concussion he suffered in an enduro training crash, it seems like Bradl’s role there is now more important than a race appearance.

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