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Marc Marquez set for MotoGP return this weekend in Portuguese GP

Marquez MotoGP Portuguese GP

JEREZ DE LA FRONTERA, SPAIN - JULY 23: Marc Marquez of Spain and Repsol Honda Team arrives in his motorhome in paddock after surgery on Tuesday in Barcelona during the MotoGP of Andalucia - Previews at Circuito de Jerez on July 23, 2020 in Jerez de la Frontera, Spain. (Photo by Mirco Lazzari gp/Getty Images)

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After missing the first two rounds of 2021 with an arm injury sustained last year, Marc Marquez announced he has been cleared to race in the MotoGP Portuguese GP, Sunday April 18.

“I’m very happy!,” Marquez announced on Instagram on Saturday. “Yesterday I visited the doctors and they gave me the green light to return to competition. They have been nine difficult months, with moments of uncertainties and ups and downs, and now, finally, I will be able to enjoy my passion again! See you next week in Portimao!”

Marquez missed most of 2020 after undergoing surgery on his right arm following a crash in the Spanish GP season opener. He needed a second surgery after re-injuring the arm at home.

Marquez entered last year as the defending title holder of the last four MotoGP champions and six of the last seven. Since winning his first title in 2013, he had not finished worse than third in class before being sidelined by injury.

His injury opened the door for Joan Mir to take the top spot by 13 points over Franco Morbidelli in a season abbreviated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Marquez won the 125cc Championship in 2010, finished second when he moved up to Moto 2 in 2011 and won that championship in 2012. In these three classes, he had a 10-year streak of championship finishes of third or better.


Ducati’s Italian rider Andrea Dovizioso (L) and Repsol Honda Team’s Spanish rider Marc Marquez compete during the MotoGP race of the Spanish Grand Prix at the Jerez racetrack in Jerez de la Frontera on July 19, 2020. (Photo by JAVIER SORIANO / AFP) (Photo by JAVIER SORIANO/AFP via Getty Images)

AFP via Getty Images

After missing the first two rounds of 2021, Marquez has given Johann Zarco a 40-point lead. Zarco finished second in both Qatar races to open the season.

Fabio Quartararo and Maverick Vinales, who each won one of the races at Losail International Circuit, are currently tied for second with 36 points.

Marquez’s most recent championship in 2019 came with a 151-point advantage over Andrea Dovizioso.