Marc Marquez pulls out of Dutch MotoGP

Paris (AFP) - Honda star Marc Marquez was forced to pull out of the Dutch MotoGP hours before Sunday’s eighth round of the season due to injury.

The six-time former world champion missed last weekend’s race in Germany in similar fashion.

The Spaniard is enduring a troubled season, hitting the deck twice at Assen following no fewer than five falls at Sachsenring.

That left him nursing numerous injuries including a rib fracture which he aggravated this weekend.

“After (Saturday’s) sprint the pain became worse and worse,” Marquez reported.

“This morning I went to the medical centre to let them know that I wasn’t in a fit state to ride,” he added.

“Last Tuesday, after a check-up in Madrid, the results were reassuring despite the discovery of a fractured rib.

“But a test this morning showed the rib had moved slightly,” he said, adding it was better to be “cautious” to avoid the injury worsening.

Marquez is one man for whom the six-week break after Assen can’t come soon enough given his torrid start to the season.

The Spaniard was due to set off from a lowly 17th on the grid after filling that position in the sprint.

Given all his woes with his Honda bike the holiday will hopefully do the 30-year-old a world of good as he targets returning fresh and fit for the British MotoGP at the start of August.

Marquez has now missed five races this season.

He underwent hand surgery following a crash in the season-opener in Portugal, his fifth operation since crashing in Jerez in 2020.

Marquez, lying a lowly 19th in the standings, has not won a race since the end of the 2021 season.

“It’s obviously the most difficult period of my life,” he admitted.

“Thankfully I’m surrounded by great people both in my private life and in the team,” he remarked, as rumours swirl of a possible exit from Honda at the end of the year.

“Honestly I don’t think it’s a good idea to talk about my future during this difficult period.

“The aim first of all is to regain fitness, to feel up to battling from the front.

“I’m a fighter, I’m still feeling driven.”

His Honda team boss Alberto Puig stated: “We have a contract with Marc and on this basis I envisage us continuing next season.

“But Honda isn’t the type of team that would keep someone who isn’t happy.”

After Sunday’s race in Assen the MotoGP circus resumes at Silverstone for the ninth round of the championship on August 6.