MotoGP icon Marc Marquez was taken to hospital after a dramatic crash during practice at the Spanish Grand Prix on Saturday – at the same track he suffered a horror smash last year.
The six-time MotoGP king lost control on Turn 7 at Jerez as the Spaniard and his Honda RC213V went crashing into the air barriers during the Free Practice 3 (FP3) session.
Fans immediately feared for Marquez after his bike flipped violently off the gravel and narrowly missed slamming into him.
After remaining doubled over on his knees for several moments, the Spaniard got up and walked away from the wreck.
Thankfully for Marquez, he suffered no injuries apart from a cervical contusion, although the 28-year-old star was still sent to hospital for further checks.
“To double check his condition after the Turn 7 fall, Marc Marquez is heading to hospital for further checks,” read a statement from his Honda team.
“These are precautionary and Marquez is not experiencing any pain or discomfort.”
To double check his condition after the Turn 7 fall, @MarcMarquez93 is heading to hospital for further checks.These are precautionary and Marquez is not experiencing any pain or discomfort.#SpanishGP 🇪🇸
— Repsol Honda Team (@HRC_MotoGP) May 1, 2021
Doctor Angel Charte added: “Marc is perfectly fine, but I thought it would be good to do a control CT scan and be more calm.
“He has a large cervical contusion and at the level of his back, it does not cost us anything to do a CT scan.
“I hope he is in the afternoon session. I insist, it is only a controlled CT scan, nothing more.”
It was later confirmed that the MotoGP ace would return for the afternoon’s FP4 session.
In a concerning coincidence, Jerez was the scene of a horror smash for Marquez last July in which he suffered a broken right arm in a career-threatening injury on Turn 3.
On that occasion, many had feared for the Spanish rider’s career after he was thrown into air and thudded painfully back down onto the track as he bounced into the gravel trap.
Remarkably, he attempted to return just a week later after having surgery, but was forced to abort that effort after just a handful of laps in practice at the Andalusian Grand Prix, complaining of too much pain.
To compound matters, Marquez then needed a second surgery after re-injuring his arm at home, curtailing his 2020 season and forcing him out of the opening two races of the 2021 campaign.
Marquez only returned to action in Portugal in mid-April following a nine-month absence, finishing seventh.
“[It] has been a very long time that I’ve been dreaming about today, finishing a MotoGP race and it’s the biggest step in my rehabilitation, my recovery and to feel again [being] a MotoGP rider was my dream and it’s what I did today,” Marquez said after that race.
Fans online were thankful that Marquez had recovered on Saturday, although they debated what the psychological impact might have on the star.
So, we can declare that Marc is comeback, it’s truly him, it’s the real of Marc. He did it before, and he will be OK.
— Khabib Astoni (@KhabibAstoni) May 1, 2021
Scary and psychologically the issue we thought might affect his ability to perform at top level again. Reality is that shook him up. Lucky that seemed opposite arm took brunt of the fall and impact. He’s going to be thinking twice about pushing hard & taking risks. He is human.
— Michelle Sutton (@Mish1506) May 1, 2021
In my opinion, he would never come back on the same level…
— ChTs☘️ (@TheDrasticNeed) May 1, 2021
In another unwanted coincidence, not long after Marquez’s crash his Honda teammate Pol Espargaro suffered exactly the same fate at the same stage of the track, but likewise dusted himself off to continue racing.
Also in FP3, KTM rider Brad Binder suffered a similarly scary-looking crash before walking away unharmed.
Marquez eventually ended down in 14th spot in qualifying for Sunday’s race, one place behind teammate Esparago.