Grand prix

MotoGP Portimao: Marc Marquez: I landed, hit my head, nothing happened | MotoGP

Given the episode of diplopia triggered by the Indonesian spill, there were naturally tense scenes in the Repsol Honda garage when Marquez was pitched into another highside, albeit at a much lower speed, during the wet FP3 session.

The eight-time world champion hit his head on the asphalt as he landed, breaking the visor from the side of his helmet, but was able to get back on his bike and return to the pits.

“In a weekend like this one with wet conditions, cold conditions, mixed conditions, it’s easy to make mistakes, like nearly everybody did,” Marquez said. “But I didn’t expect to crash there because I was not pushing a lot.

“Of course, when I decided to come back in Austin, the question to my doctor was, ‘if I land again on my head, what’s going on?’ He said, ‘It doesn’t mean every time you land on your head it [diplopia] will appear. You will have the same risk as in Austin next year’.

“It’s also true that the Indonesian crash was a massive one. Here I landed and hit my head but nothing happened. I have pain on my neck, but that’s normal.”

Marquez also confirmed that he had been checked for signs of concussion by the MotoGP medical team before being allowed to return at the end of the session.

“Dr Charte came straight to me and asked two or three questions. He said, ‘where did you crash? Which gear? Which corner?’ and in Indonesia, I didn’t answer. Today I answered straight away. It’s true that they are much stricter than before.”

Marquez took an even more cautious approach to his track time following the accident.

“After that we didn’t make many laps just to avoid the risk. I just did two laps in FP4 and the time when I needed to push, in qualifying, we pushed,” he said.

Yellow flags for team-mate’s fall cost Marquez best qualifying lap

Marquez was briefly credited with pole position during his final lap of qualifying, while using slicks tyres on a tricky damp track, but a fall for team-mate Pol Espargaro in the final sector saw the lap erased, dropping Marquez to ninth.

Without the yellow flags for Espargaro’s accident, Marquez’s cancelled time would have put him fourth on the grid.

“It’s a bit like Austin, I’m happy with the speed we showed but again we were unlucky,” he said. “But these things can happen, today it impacted my lap time but tomorrow it could affect another rider.”

Looking ahead, Marquez admitted the lack of any real dry set-up time so far this weekend means Sunday will be a leap into the unknown.

“Tomorrow we need to have a bit of luck in terms of tyre choice and base set-up,” he said. “If we are lucky about the base set-up and the tyre choice, then you can approach the race in one way. If you go out and you are struggling, you need to go to finish the race.

“Nobody knows, but I believe that Quartararo and Mir are two riders that will be fast.”

Espargaro meanwhile will start alongside Marquez, in tenth.

“I lost the front on a wet patch in the last corner,” Espargaro said of the qualifying spill. “That lap was not amazing but it was enough to be on the second row. I wanted to end that lap and then push on the last lap, that I didn’t make.”

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