At more than a year and a half after his first and last triumph in the MotoGP, in Styria 2021, Jorge Martin is back in action, winning the Sprint Race in the French GP.
An affirmation from the start, with a Martinator who went immediately from 5th to 2nd place, then launched the decisive attack at the 4th lap, to Francesco Bagnaia’s detriment.
“I didn’t expect to fight for the win today. To fight, yes, but I thought it would be more a day to prepare for tomorrow,” the Pramac Racing team rider admitted. “I didn’t feel great, not yesterday nor this morning. I didn’t think I had a bike that would allow me to fight for the win. At this temperature, I finally felt good. I had a good start and was in second position after two corners. It’ll be more difficult tomorrow to repeat what I did today, but at least I managed well in the sprint. When I was behind Pecco, I saw that he was struggling a bit with the front, so I tried to overtake him. After that, I tried to push for a couple of laps and opened a small gap of just over a second, which I tried to keep until the end. I had a lot of fun, at least in the last two laps, where I had a two second margin.”
After a couple of laps, the rider from Madrid broke through the hesitation at the Dunlop chicane, with a maneuver that proved decisive for the fate of his race.
“At first, I thought Pecco was managing the rear tire. But, usually, when you’re behind him, it’s hard to get close to him in braking because he’s really late, so I realized there was something wrong. I didn’t expect to give it a try there, but I saw that he was braking too much, so I let go of the brakes,” Martin said. “With these temperatures, I feel I can get back into the fight. Not like in Jerez where I struggled to overcome. Even if I weren’t to get a start like today, I expect to be in the top five tomorrow and recuperate some other positions during the race.”
Something seems to have changed for the 25-year-old, who looks like h'es found the right confidence to bring to tomorrow’s GP.
“I feel like something has unlocked in my head. It’s just the sprint race, but it had been a long time since my last win, and I had this thought in my head that didn’t allow me to express my full potential on track. It seems to be coming back, so I’m happy about that,” he explained. “It wasn’t really a block but, when it’s been a long time since you’ve triumphed, everything comes easier to you after you’ve won. You have confidence and motivation, and I think I’m in that moment. I was fast today, and I hope to be fast tomorrow. I’ll try to fight for the win, but the most important thing for me is to get on the podium and get some important points to continue making progress.”
Less critical than some colleagues, Jorge then concluded with his opinion on the work of the Stewards, after yesterday's meeting: “I don’t have much to say. We asked for more coherence, and I hope we’ll get it.”