The weekend had started badly for Marc Márquez and his Suter team. Last Friday, ahead of the Australian Moto2 race, the Spanish rider managed to violently smash into a competitor at the end of free practice, injuring both. But with fresh stitches in his eyelid, a black eye, a swollen lip and bruises all over his body, Márquez managed to do what seemed impossible, clawing his way up from the very back of the grid to finish third in Sunday's race. It's performances like that that have prompted many to say that despite still being just 18 years old, the Spaniard could be ready to step up to the MotoGP category.
From his mechanics and his team principal, to his head of press and sponsors, no one can quite believe what Márquez is capable of. Whenever he makes a mistake, he manages to compensate for it, drawing on his talents.
Sunday was not the first time that Márquez had been relegated to the back of the field - the same thing happened a year ago, in Portugal, when he was fighting for the world championship title, as he is now.
And on both occasions he pulled off a miracle, clawing back track positions at lightning speed. At Estoril he won a race that was just nine laps long, due to heavy rain, but he had already managed to move from 17th place to the head of the field.
In Phillip Island on Sunday, the achievement was even greater, and his deed even more heroic - after all, Moto2 is not 125cc. These bikes, with 600cc engines, weigh 135 kilos, and there are around 40 of them on the grid. Márquez, who started 38th, finished third on the podium, behind Stefan Bradl, his rival for the championship, who is now only three points ahead of the Spaniard with two races to go.
In order to give him a chance in the race, his team worked late into the night on Friday to rebuild his bike. Piece by piece it was reconstructed, with spare parts, if they had them, and borrowed parts if necessary, as was the case with the chassis.
"In the end, the differences between the bike he was riding on Sunday and the bike he had in the last races was minimal," his team explained. Their best hopes for the actual race was for him to score a point, which would have meant finishing among the first 15 riders.
"When we saw that after the first lap he was already 16th, we didn't know what to think," said his head mechanic, Santi Hernández. After 10 laps, with 15 still to go, he was already sixth.
"I didn't want to lose the fight," Márquez said after the race. "I wanted to be on that podium. [...] I wanted to show that it wasn't impossible to have a good race starting from last place."
"You see what this kid does and it leaves you speechless," said team principal Emilio Alzamora after the race.
"Márquez should win the title," his supporters were heard to be saying after the race. "And not just for what he managed to do on Sunday."