On the Sunday evening of the Catalan GP Jorge Martin had bluntly declared: "everything will return to normal at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli", implying that Ducati would take centre stage again. In hindsight with reason. This weekend the Reds returned to being the benchmark for MotoGP, unbeatable. Hat-trick in the Tissot Sprint on Saturday, hat-trick this afternoon in the long race, with Prima Pramac Racing as its lowest common denominator, capable of winning both encounters at the Riviera circuit. The 2018 Moto3 World Champion scored (by a distance) his second double of the season, reopening the race for the championship: he is now 36 points behind championship leader Francesco Bagnaia.
Starting from pole, he dictated the pace right from the start and dominated the Sunday race from start to finish despite first Bagnaia and then Bezzecchi breathing down his neck: "One of the most difficult and most physical races of my life. I thought I wouldn't be able to get away, I knew that Bagnaia and Bezzecchi would prove stronger today - admitted the #89 - from the big screen on the edge of the track I could see that Pecco was holding his own, but at a certain point I started to hear the noise of his motorbike further and further away. I thought he was struggling and so I gave everything as if I were in qualifying. I was always at the limit, I blocked at the front. Seeing the gap increase was gratifying."
Martin recalled the difficulties that clipped his wings last year: “In the past I struggled to express myself at a high level on this track, although it is not the fault of the rider if in 2022 I was 20 seconds down and this year I won. I've definitely made some progress in terms of riding style, and I've also analysed old information. I'm really satisfied with the way I'm working, my mentality is also changing for the better because now I have the belief that I can always challenge for the top step of the podium."
So here is the real Martin, a crystal-clear talent who struggled to blossom before this season: “I arrived here and I had a great time. I concentrated on the corners following the Curvone, the point where I lost from Bezzecchi and Bagnaia. For the rest I didn't notice too many problems. At Misano the rider really makes the difference given its physical nature. However, I got the flow and I think this is very important, I have never had fun like this."
Many in the paddock think that you can't win in MotoGP by racing for a satellite team, yet the Spaniard has thrown everything back up in the air again from a championship perspective with these two victories. To which is added the favourable inertia in view of the next GP of India: “The world title? I don't think about it - he replied - I'm not even a factory rider so it's not on me to win the championship. I don't have responsibility. Not having had that opportunity, I don't feel the pressure of an official team. I have to enjoy this moment and the fact of not being a factory rider, I think I will do it for one more season, then one day that greater responsibility will come. Now the important thing is to have fun, try to win what you can and take risks. Obviously, however, if the opportunity comes I will do everything possible to play my cards. Winning the World Championship remains my dream."