The third round of the season is the first to be held in Europe, and the first for 8-time World Champion Marc Márquez, who returns after nine months out of action. The Repsol Honda Team rider sat out the first two Grands Prix of 2021 in Qatar in order to complete his recovery, and he rejoins the competition after receiving clearance from doctors.
The venue for the Portuguese Grand Prix is practically a new circuit for Márquez. Last year he was not present when the MotoGP World Championship held its last race of the season at the track, although he has tested there twice: In 2012 when in Moto2, and in March of 2019 with the RC213V-S.
Pol Espargaró continues to adapt to the Honda RC213V, and returns to a circuit where last year he placed fourth on raceday, climbing from ninth on the grid.
The third race of the 2021 season will be held this Sunday at 14.00h (CEST) at the Autódromo Internacional do Algarve.
Portugal GP Statements
“It’s a great feeling to be returning to MotoGP, with my team and my bike. We have been working very hard to achieve this, many hours in the gym and with my physio Carlos. We would have liked to have been in Qatar, but finally my doctors advised me against it and I listened to them. I have really focused on listening to the doctors and understanding my body so that I can return to MotoGP and do what I love. I have a little bit of experience in Portugal but the aim of this weekend is to work well. Step by step, we are coming back and this is very positive after a long period.”
“We left Qatar with good information but without the results we were looking for. Portugal gives me a chance to start to understand the Honda more because it will be the first time not riding it in Losail. It’s a fun and very physical circuit to ride so I am excited to try the RC213V in Portugal. We need to continue to improve our performance and show the potential of the Honda. Of course I am also very excited to have Marc back in the box, he is the reference in MotoGP and working with him will help us to raise out level.”