Outside the Montmeló track, the protagonist was Marc Márquez, who underwent surgery for the fourth time on his right humerus
“This is a circuit with little grip, especially in such heat. It reminds me a bit of the conditions we had in Argentina, and my brother was very fast there, so I think it could be a good weekend for him as well.” Pol Espargaró commented on this on Thursday before the action started at the Catalan Grand Prix. After the first day, that prediction began to take shape, including the technical derivative of the lack of grip on the asphalt of the Catalan track, one of the keys to these hot days.
Aleix Espargaró finished on Friday in Montmeló at the top of the time table after the first two free practices, with a time 303 thousandths of a second better than that of second-placed Maverick Viñales, his Aprilia teammate. And 488 than the third, Enea Bastianini, an outrage, since the distance between him and Espargaró was greater than the one that separated him from the thirteenth, Fabio Di Giannantonio, author of the pole in Italy less than a week before.
«When we say that the difficult thing is to be behind, to fall, to fight, to get up again, it is not a cliché, it is like that, it is much more fucked up to be behind and suffer than now, I am having a great time, enjoying myself and I am super relaxed. It is the home Grand Prix but in reality I have no more pressure, I wanted to go out and show everyone that I am going very fast, that this is my track, and being able to do it because the bike is with you is a luxury and that is why I am calm» , assured smiling about the moment that Aleix Espargaró lives, after confirming that he wants to take advantage of this weekend in the fight for the title in which he is involved and for which nobody expected him when the first grand prize began back in March.
«I think that today we have been constant, with the hard tire I did not like the feeling too much but even so we have been one of the fastest and with the intermediate I have been much faster than my rivals. Today I was quite superior but from lap ten or twelve, until lap twenty-three that I think there is, is where the differences will be marked. So far no one has gone to the extreme, tomorrow we will do it in FP4 and we'll see."
In addition to him, his teammate and Bastianini, Pecco Bagnaia, Jorge Martín (who will have to travel to Italy this Monday to have arthrosis surgery on the carpal tunnel in his right hand), Brad Binder, Jack Miller, Alex Rins, the leader Fabio Quartararo and Franco Morbidelli, who appeared again to put a second Yamaha in that group that would provisionally be in Q2. Aprilia, Ducati, KTM, Suzuki, Yamaha, and again with Honda out, with Pol Espargaró eleventh as the best of the Japanese structure riders, in the first weekend without Marc Márquez after the announcement last Saturday that he was going to undergo surgery again, a surgery carried out this Thursday in the United States by Dr. Joaquín Sánchez-Sotelo, in a section focused on sports injuries at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester (Minnesota).
Complex but successful intervention
"Despite the complexity of the intervention, the final result has been satisfactory," explained the doctor through a statement. “The surgery has consisted of the extraction of the two proximal screws of the posterior plate previously placed by Dr. Samuel Antuña in December 2020, followed by a rotational humeral osteotomy. This procedure consists of making a transverse cut of the humeral bone to rotate the humerus along its axis. The amount of external rotation performed today has been approximately 30 degrees. The humerus has been stabilized in the new position by means of an anterior plate with multiple screws. The surgery has been completed without incident.”
Márquez, who has traveled with his trusted physiotherapist, Carlos García, will stay in the United States until he recovers from the operation, and then he will return to Spain, where he plans to do the rehabilitation work, without yet a specific date about his return. return to competition. In any case, the Spanish driver used his social networks to send a message of satisfaction, with two images of the day, one watching the second free practice of this Grand Prix of Catalonia, the other following the Roland Garros semifinal match between Rafa Nadal and Alexander Zverev.