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MotoGP, Jorge Martin: "The overtaking move on Bagnaia? I had to take a risk, every point counts now"

By winning the sprint in Qatar, the Spaniard is now 7 points behind Bagnaia and moves the match point for the title to Valencia. "I knew I had to take risks to recover points. Tomorrow's race will decide the way Pecco and I will approach the last GP in Valencia"

MotoGP: Jorge Martin: "The overtaking move on Bagnaia? I had to take a risk, every point counts now"


Jorge Martin triumphed in the sprint in Qatar, and he did so aware of having to face the Lusail circuit with the ardour of someone who had to be willing to take risks to continue chasing the dream of the title.

The Spaniard, who started fifth in qualifying right next to his rival Bagnaia, did not disappoint expectations and faced many risks on Saturday in Qatar, fighting with gritted teeth amidst the Ducatis of his brand rivals. By stringing together a series of overtaking moves, some of which were truly borderline like the one on Bagnaia in which the two official Ducatis touched, Jorge managed to prevail over his rivals with a narrow victory, thus once again shortening the gap in the standings.

Seven points now separate the Spanish rider from the Italian Bagnaia. The match point for the title (perhaps) is therefore postponed directly to Valencia, the last round of this very long season.

"Already from this morning the sensations on the bike were excellent compared to yesterday - says the Spaniard - so I was confident of being able to win, but it was important to do a good qualifying first and I did it. The start in the race was good, then I made a small mistake that allowed Pecco and Marco to overtake me. I waited for the right moment to make up for it, on this track tyre wear is a key factor and in the final stages of the race it gave me that extra something to beat my rivals ".

Friday's free practice didn't start very well.

"It's the first time this season in which I wasn't sure which tyre to rely on, and what the race pace was. Instead, since this morning we have taken a step forward, in the race I managed the tyres well and the race pace was record-breaking. I'm really satisfied with the work done with the team and I adapted quickly to the track conditions."

Did you expect a race like this, with such a close fight and lots of overtaking?

"No, I had doubts before this race, I never managed to get a good start all weekend so that was one of the biggest unknowns for me, I didn't expect to start well and find myself already third, even if I then lost that advantage with one mistake. Overtaking on this circuit is not only easy, but the lines are also very narrow so to make them you must take risks by changing the lines themselves. I understood when and where to make my moves, also taking risks when overtaking on Pecco, Alex and Luca but I think I understood the general picture well and managed the race intelligently. In the last laps I finally had to push to the limit to prevent Di Giannantonio from getting too close."

You talked about risks, and we saw you make overtaking moves that were truly at the limit, like in the duel with Bagnaia in which there was also contact.

"At the start I saw that I was in front of Pecco, I noticed that I got in front of him at the first corner, like in Thailand in the last corners, I was on the inside and he couldn't do anything about it. As for the other overtakes, it's not easy to do overtaking here in Qatar but I saw that I was faster, he kept more to the outside and I had to try at all costs. I don't think it was too risky an overtaking, I risked more to keep my distance from Di Giannantonio in the last laps. These are risks I had to take, now every point counts for a lot."

This victory allowed you to close the gap on Bagnaia, seven points separate you.

"The target is the same as always, to recover points - continues Jorge - today we succeeded and I am satisfied, but tomorrow will be an important day for everyone, especially for me and for Pecco because the way in which we will face the last GP in Valencia will depend on what will happen tomorrow. Regaining even just one point tomorrow would be crucial to face the last round of the championship in the best possible way. I think we were competitive today; we are in an excellent position, and we will try to be competitive tomorrow too."

Will not only tyre management, but the choice of compounds also be different over the long distance tomorrow?

"I believe that my choice of tyres will not change, even if it will partly depend on the temperatures on the track. Today I didn't have the best sensations with the hard tyre on the front and I thought that the soft was a valid option, but then I opted for the first thinking that the sprint would ultimately be an excellent test, and luckily it performed well" the Spaniard concluded.


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