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MotoGP, Martin: "Beating Marc and Pecco is incredible, I was No. 1 this weekend."

"I'm not champion yet, so to beat two like Bagnaia and Marquez is really great. We are the three riders at the highest level and the fight for the title will be a great challenge, but it's up to me to do my best."

MotoGP: Martin:

"I don't have much more to prove," said Jorge Martin after yesterday's success in the Sprint race, and it is indeed hard to imagine what else the Madrid native can do to show Ducati that he deserves the factory rider's seat alongside Francesco Bagnaia. Net of a harmless crash in qualifying, Martinator swept Le Mans with a near-perfect weekend in which he took the track record, pole position and two wins between Sprint and Grand Prix. Two successes built with a solo race on Saturday and with a lunge on Pecco on Sunday, six laps from the checkered flag, which consolidated the world leadership of the Pramac Racing team standard bearer, first in the championship with 129 points and a 38-length margin over the Piedmontese rider.

"This is the fourth time I've hit pole and wins in the Sprint and on Sunday and it's not easy, you have to be in great shape. When we got here on Thursday we were sitting almost in the same positions we are now and I did not expect to get these results and I am very happy. Today I didn't make the best of starts, but I think putting myself behind Pecco was a good strategy, because I was able to study him and let the laps go by, trying to maintain good tire pressure, because it could drop a little bit with these cooler conditions," Jorge told the press conference.

After following Pecco for almost the entire race, the Iberian was able to get rid of the defending champion on lap 22 of the race, after attempting a first attempt in Turn 3.

"I was confident standing behind him and with seven laps to go I thought it was time to try to overtake. I tried a first time but went a little wide and he was able to counterattack. The second time, however, I succeeded perfectly ," Martin analyzed, " I took a risk by braking a little more, I was slightly on the limit and I'm so happy I succeeded. The last five laps were very long. I tried to push and I was a little tired because it's a very long race and the wind changed a little bit from yesterday. It was difficult, but I managed to take a small margin that prevented the others from attacking me."

A tension-filled finish for the Ducatista. "I didn't enjoy the last five laps very much, because I had a lot to do. I mean, I had to go fast, and avoid crashing with the tires that were not at their best, it was not easy and it was also very windy, so the pressure was a lot. Enjoying riding is very important, but those five laps were really long and certainly not fun for me, " recounted Jorge, who was able to breathe a little bit at the end thanks to Marquez's attack on Bagnaia: "I always kept an eye on the screens and I saw that when I was in Turn 12 I had about fifteen meters, so I entered the last corner calmly, without forcing, because sometimes you can risk falling."

It was precisely the compatriot's great comeback that was a spur for Martin to break away and attack Pecco.

"I knew Marc was behind with Diggia, so I stayed behind Pecco. Then I saw that he was two seconds away and as soon as Bagnaia and I started to fight he was able to make up almost a second in one lap, so I told myself that I should try to overtake and try to push, otherwise Marc would come and I might even finish 3rd, not even 2nd. Knowing that he was coming, I tried to complete the maneuver as soon as possible to try to set my pace and open a small gap," explained the Spanish rider, who was more worried by Bagnaia than by the eight-time world champion: "I was more worried about Pecco, because I could see that it was very difficult to pass him, I couldn't find the right moment. I could see that Turn 9 was his weakest point, I was recovering everything in T3, but I couldn't get close enough to try, so in the end I tried in Turn 3 and once we started to fight I saw that Marc was also coming from behind, so I took the lead as soon as I could, to make sure that it was Pecco's problem, not mine, and from that moment on I fought with myself to make good laps. I got some distance, but then I made a small mistake. I have to take care of these small details so I don't give him chances next time."

The margin taken was still enough to complete his triumphant weekend, which ended by demolishing the fairing and visor of his helmet in the rush of celebration.

"To set the record, to win the Sprint and the GP is really hard, so I was saying to myself, 'who is number 1? Who is number 1?' and I feel that this weekend I was definitely number 1 and I'm really happy about that. To beat Pecco and Marc is crazy, they are incredible champions while I'm not champion yet, so for me it's really great. It was a great race and I think winning in front of two champions like Marc and Pecco gives a lot of confidence. I'm very happy to be in this position today," said the 26-year-old. " We'll see what happens in the next race, but today I'm going to enjoy the day and celebrate, because it's very difficult to win in MotoGP and every time you do it should be celebrated. It is not because I won today that I am better than yesterday or the day before, however, it is clear that I was the strongest today. I think they are the rivals to beat for the title as well, I knew that before the beginning of the year and they are proving it. I think right now the three of us are the riders who are at the highest level and it will be a long fight, the challenge is very big, because they are great champions and beating them is even more difficult, but now it's up to me to do my best."

Like last year, Le Mans confirmed itself as a fiefdom for Martin, but he does not consider today's to be his finest success in MotoGP.

"Yes, it is Martinator territory (smiles). Last year I came close, but this year I completed it ," he said, " I don't think this is the most beautiful. I think the win in Misano last year was impressive. Definitely a win is a win, but today we didn't fight each other until the last lap, so I don't think it was my biggest race, but certainly one of the best."

Jorge has repeatedly said that in his opinion Ducati has already decided on Bagnaia's next teammate, but he would not go into too much detail on the matter.

"I get asked these questions all the time, but I don't want to talk about it. I think whether he wins here and at Montmeló or not, I am the same rider, the same guy, so I don't think it will change their decision.Whatever will come will be fine," he stressed, then giving credit to the great work done by his team this weekend, "I am in a satellite team, I have official material of course, but in the end, Ducati works to make a Ducati win in the end and that is why the riders expect to be in the official team, however, my team is incredible, they did an outstanding job. After the crash in qualifying, I rode that bike and it was always perfect. I am very happy to be here in the Pramac team."

Automatic Translation by DeepL

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