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Martinez’s master stroke

Martinez’s master stroke

Jorge Martinez “Aspar” remembers the 1994 Argentina GP when he went against the wishes of Yamaha to modify his bike and win the 125cc race.

In 1994 Jorge Martinez “Aspar” decided to go against the advice of his manufacturer Yamaha ahead of the 125cc race at the Argentina GP to great effect. The legendary Spanish rider had not tasted victory since the South African GP two seasons earlier, but arrived in Buenos Aries with a chassis that his team had built which he felt could give him the advantage he needed to return to the top step of the podium. His Yamaha was conceding almost 20kmh on the straights to the more powerful Hondas at the time; therefore Martinez knew he had to make up time in the corners with a better handling chassis.

As it was the penultimate race of the season though, Yamaha were not keen to make changes and advised Martinez and his team to leave it as it was. Undeterred by this, Martinez decided to race with the new chassis anyway against Yamaha’s wishes. The team knew that if their gamble didn’t pay off they would be in trouble with the Japanese manufacturer, but Martinez went on to win the race and the rest is history.

Despite coming close a number of times in the next three seasons it would turn out to be Martinez’s last victory in an illustrious career that saw him win 37 GP’s and lift four World Championship (80cc – 1986, 1987, 1988/125cc – 1988) titles before his retirement in 1997. He also went on to set up and manage the Aspar Racing Team, which currently still competes in MotoGP™ and Moto3™ in 2016.


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