The Portuguese GP left a bittersweet taste in the mouths of the Repsol Honda Team, with Pol Espargaró forced to retire on Lap 4 due to a mechanical issue and Marc Márquez's emotional return to action. The Repsol Honda Team rider finished the race with a merit-worthy seventh place.
Márquez made a great start that took him up to fourth position on the opening lap. He subsequently dropped down several places, but managed to overcome pain and fatigue to finish the race in seventh, just 13 seconds behind winner Fabio Quartararo.
Less fortunate was teammate Espargaró, who was forced to retire after a problem occurred with his bike, just four laps into the race at Portimao.
In just 2 weeks' time, the pair will be back on track at the Spanish GP, held at the Circuito de Jerez - Ángel Nieto.
“There were a lot of emotions this weekend and when I arrived in the box I just exploded, not for the pain but there was something inside that needed to come out. I felt so much support from everyone and especially my family and friends. To feel like a MotoGP rider again was the most important thing and it was a great feeling. I didn’t enjoy today’s race, I suffered a lot, but it was the most important step in my recovery so far. We were able to finish the race, that was our main goal – the position didn’t matter but to finish 13 seconds behind first was an impossible dream. I think I felt best when I was riding alone in the middle of the race, the start of the race was a bit of a shock after so long! The last laps were just about finishing. Now we look to Jerez.”
“Unfortunately today we had a technical problem, sometimes it can happen like this. Our race today was very short because of this, this can happen in racing when you are on the limit everywhere. We try and learn from our mistakes and our problems and come back stronger. Now we turn out attention to Jerez, a circuit where we as a team will have a lot of data thanks to the work that Stefan has been doing. All we can do is keep working and try to find some luck, the issue we had today won’t be an issue in the future. We keep getting stronger and growing as a team and improving. Let’s have a smooth weekend next time out.”