MotoGP world champion Marc Marquez has returned to action in Spain as he steps up his recovery following shoulder surgery in December, his Honda team said Friday.
Marquez, who turns 26 later this month, underwent an operation on his left shoulder before the new year after dislocating it several times last season.
The Spaniard most notably injured his shoulder while celebrating after clinching a fifth world title in six years in Japan in October.
Marquez passed the first phase of his rehabilitation by completing a handful of laps around a track in Alcarras, not far from his home in Catalonia.
"I needed this!" Marquez said after his first run. "I touched my elbow on the ground! 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."
The next step for Marquez comes at the first 2019 pre-season test in Sepang from February 6-8.