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Two of the standout performers in 2020 were rookies Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) and Alex Marquez (LCR Honda). The South African shocked the world when he claimed KTM's debut MotoGP™ victory at the Czech Republic Grand Prix and the Spaniard ended the year as HRC most successful rider with back-to-back podiums at Le Mans and Aragon. As a result, the bar has been raised for this year's crop of premier class rookies, including Jorge Martin (Pramac Racing).
However, whilst speaking to Spanish newspaper Marca, the 23-year-old isn't fazed by any raised expectations heading into the 2021 MotoGP™ World Championship, instead, he's relishing the chance to fight alongside the world's best and doesn't believe a podium finish is totally out of the question.
"Seeing what Brad [Binder] and Álex Márquez did last year," started the 2018 Moto3™ World Champion. "I think it can be done. You have to work well, though. The main objective is to be the Rookie of the Year. I'm more focused on a goal of fighting inside the top 10 by the end of the year, rather than on the podium because I think consistency is very important in MotoGP, as we have seen last year. But, it is obvious that getting on the podium would be something incredible."
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Martin is up for the fight in 2021 too. He believes the fierce fights that Moto3™ and Moto2™ throw up is the best preparation possible for the premier class: "I'm going to a class where there are 16 or 17 World Champions and I come from Moto2 where there were two or three. The level is going to be much higher and, of course, it is going to be much more demanding, but I think that the fight, the one-on-one of Moto2 and Moto3, has forged me well and I'll arrive prepared, above all, for battles. This new generation, we come prepared for this type of racing. I am prepared in that sense."
Following his 2020 World Championship success, Joan Mir (Team Suzuki Ecstar) stated that it's a bigger challenger to win a title with Suzuki than it is to do it with Honda. So, with Ducati only having one MotoGP™ title with Casey Stoner back in 2007, does the Spaniard believe it would be an even greater challenge to finally end Ducati's World Championship drought?
"It is the same challenge to win a title with Ducati, with Suzuki or with Honda," explained the Pramac Racing man. "In the end, there is so much equality right now that one day this bike is better than this bike; the next day another bike is better. You have to adapt. The challenge and the difficulty are exactly the same. But I think that with Ducati there is more passion and if one day I win the World Championship with Ducati, the happiness that we will have, and that emotion that we will feel, that makes the difference compared to other factories."
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