The 2023 season has just ended and for the riders it is time to take stock of the past year, and then enjoy a well-deserved break in view of the next challenges. This is also the case of Jorge Martin, who during an interview on the program "El hormiguero" on Antena3 commented on his journey so far and the final part of the championship. In fact, Martinator, after a first half of the season in the fray, then became the main rival in the title race against Bagnaia.
In the second half of the season, the Spaniard was able to interpret the new format of the short race, making it almost his exclusive property, thus managing to challenge for the title at the last race, at Valencia, with a 14-point disadvantage over his brand rival. The end of the story, however, is already history: the Spaniard went looking for a battle with Pecco, found it, then a slipstream and a contact took him wide. He tried to make a comeback but his enthusiasm got the better of him, when he entered the turn with the front, he hooked onto Marquez's rear, throwing both of them into the gravel. Irrespective of the regret, however, the Spaniard also feels that he has learned some important lessons, and various other topics were covered in the program: friendships, rivalries and anecdotes, without sparing any criticism for himself, however.
Our thoughts therefore immediately turn to the last round of the championship.
"I really liked the last round in Valencia - says the Spaniard - there were many fans and after the victory in the sprint on Saturday everyone was singing "yes, we can do it". It was a complicated year, I didn't start as I expected, but then I got into the rhythm. Basically my goal at the beginning of the year was to finish in the top 3, so looking at that I'm quite happy with what I managed to achieve."
"At the end of the season I was obsessed with the idea of winning"
On the track this year, the Spaniard was the king over the short distances, in which he achieved a lot, 9 sprint wins which saw him climb to the top step.
"I have a particular riding style because I'm small and I can't do otherwise. If I want the bike to turn I have to lean back a lot. The sooner you turn, the sooner you accelerate. When you're on the track there are a thousand things to think about, it's not enough to just step on the gas, there's also a lot of management and strategy. In sprints it's different, because there it's about pure speed and instinct, which are my strong points. I'm a very competitive person, I have to beat everyone... I enter a certain logic. After the tyre problem in Qatar I finished tenth and it wasn't an easy moment, I was competing for the world championship, but I was the one who cheered up my team and this was a positive surprise."
However, at the end of the season, the Spaniard also felt the tension of the challenge.
"I came to Valencia after a difficult period from Thailand to Qatar, every time something went wrong I was very tense. In October I was literally obsessed with the idea of having to win."
"Surprised by Marc's reaction, he told me that he would have done the same"
A race for the title ended with contact with Marc Marquez, in his last race aboard the official Honda.
"It's the first time I've seen the accident again. It was a complicated moment, I was picking up the bike in a bend and touching his rear made him fall to the ground. Afterwards I felt terrible because it was his last race with Honda, but I was very surprised by his attitude, because he told me that he would have done the same in my place. He told me not to worry because if he had to fight for the title he would also try to overtake. I remember that at that moment I had clear ideas, for me there was only all or nothing in my head, either I would win or I would fall. If it had happened to me I don't know how I would have reacted, also for this reason Marc is the best in history , there are always good vibes with him. In the end we even exchanged helmets two days later."
However, among the riders with whom Martinator is on excellent terms, there is certainly also another Spaniard: Aleix Espargarò.
"I only really get along with Aleix, it's almost a brotherly relationship between us, he's taken care of me since I was 16. I don't pretend to be friends with the others, they're my rivals. When I'm on the track I push on the gas and I only turn around if I meet Aleix. My philosophy is "Either you go or I go". But I'm still respectful, because here we are risking our lives, it's a dangerous sport, even if I'm the first to never back down from a challenge".
"I lost the title in Indonesia: wanting to humiliate my opponents made me fail"
Therefore, despite the defeat, Martinator learned some important lessons.
"Taking it out on your team is the worst thing, because it's like your family. But in the last few races the pressure was through the roof and whatever went wrong I was on them. It wasn't a happy period, and my nervousness was reflected on the team, I understood that that attitude couldn't work, it was an important lesson. So I decided that I would enjoy the final, whether I won or finished second, that had to be my philosophy. Compared to last year I feel like I've taken a step forward, before I crashed a lot, now I've become more consistent. I don't think I lost the title in Valencia, what still hurts me is the race in Indonesia. I was leading with a lead of three seconds and with that result, perhaps, I would have won the world championship. Feeling so superior at that moment, wanting to "humiliate" my opponents so to speak, made me fail. I learned that you can win a race even for a second or two tenths, the points remain the same".
The Spaniard finally turns his gaze to his future, which will see him wearing the colours of the Pramac Ducati team again in 2024.
"Next year I see myself fighting for the championship, I would like the title, but this requires putting many things together. The level in MotoGP is very high and gets higher every year, the title is something that is earned with hard work and dedication".