February 1, 2019 / 1:51 PM / 3 months ago

Marquez back in the saddle after surgery

FILE PHOTO: MotoGP - Malaysian Grand Prix - Sepang International Circuit, Sepang, Malaysia - November 4, 2018 Repsol Honda Team's Marc Marquez celebrates after winning the race REUTERS/Lai Seng Sin/File Photo

(Reuters) - MotoGP world champion Marc Marquez has got back on a bike in Spain for the first time since he had major shoulder surgery in December.

Honda said in a statement on Friday that the 25-year-old, a five times MotoGP champion including the last three, had tried out a practice bike near his home in eastern Spain to see if his shoulder was ready.

The first pre-season test at Malaysia’s Sepang circuit starts on Feb. 6.

“I needed this,” said Marquez, who has a new team mate this year in compatriot and three times MotoGP champion Jorge Lorenzo.

“Riders in general need to have their minds clear. At least on the trip to Malaysia, which is 14 hours long, I will be thinking I have ridden a bike, got on the brakes, felt the throttle and the clutch.

“We have done a few laps that have helped me to see where things are.”

Marquez said the force while braking, particularly at left-handed corners where he had to support his left shoulder, was problematic.

“That is where we have to continue working, have patience in Malaysia and get to March at full fitness,” he said. The season starts in Qatar on March 10.

Lorenzo will miss the Sepang test after undergoing wrist surgery this month.

Reporting by Alan Baldwin in London, editing by Toby Davis

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