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Jorge Martin (Del Conca Gresini Moto3) clawed his way to the top of the Moto3™ Championship after his return to winning ways at the Motul TT Assen, with title rival Marco Bezzecchi (Redox PrustelGP) crashing out of podium contention on the final lap.
The Spaniard’s weekend didn’t get off to the ideal start after suffering a heavy crash in FP2, but Martin bounced back to take pole on Saturday before getting the perfect launch on Sunday to try and pull away at the front – a tactic the 20-year-old is renowned for. “Well for sure the race was really hard for me, at the beginning I was trying to pull away but I knew it would be impossible to go alone,” said Martin, who made a broke clear in the early stages before he was caught by Aron Canet (Estrella Galicia 0,0), Enea Bastianini (Leopard Racing), Bezzecchi and John McPhee (CIP – Green Power).
“I was expecting just Enea and Canet to be there with me, so when McPhee and Bezzecchi arrived I just tried to stay calm. I also had a problem with the front brake, it was too soft and it was really hard to brake in the battle. And then with four laps to go I saw no one wanted to push so I thought that was the moment to do it and I made a gap of four or five tenths and this is what allowed me to win the race.”
During the race, Martin’s Honda was again losing out on straight line speed to the KTM machines of Bezzecchi and McPhee, something the 2014 Red Bull MotoGP™ Rookies Cup Champion was wary of. “For sure in the battle it was really difficult to win because KTM are really strong and my bike wasn’t performing so good on the straights, it was really good on the corners but on the straights, it was really hard,” explained Martin, who was particularly strong in Sector 3. “When I saw McPhee was second and I had a ten metres gap I knew he was struggling, in sector three I was really fast and that’s where I tried to push and when I passed the straight I saw I was five tenths ahead of the others so the last two laps were amazing.”
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Martin now leads the Championship by two points heading into Round 9 after Bezzecchi’s late crash, but he’s refusing to get carried away and is instead focusing on winning races. “You know it’s nothing special, I just want to win races like I did today and we’ll try again at the Sachsenring. For sure, it’s better to be at the front rather than be third and 20 points from the leader but it’s nothing special.”
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