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Jorge Martin has outdone himself at the last two Grands Prix. After scoring his best result to date with sixth place in Austria, just seven days later in the Czech Republic he achieved one of the dreams of any rider by stepping up onto the podium at a historic circuit like Brno.
Martin becomes the 28th rider to score a podium for the Aspar Team since 1992. That season, with third place at Magny Cours, Jorge Martinez "Aspar" himself opened an account that now totals 291 podiums, with Martin the latest to contribute with his brilliant ride in the wet at Brno. The next target for the youngster from Madrid is the top step.
Q: Jorge, what were those few hours like after the podium at Brno?
A: Time is passing by and I am still struggling to believe it. To step onto a World Championship podium is something everybody aspires to. I haven't had much time for anything since then. I had a flight already booked for that evening but in the end I moved it back to the following day. I had dinner with some friends in Prague, which is a city I really like. I have had thousands of congratulations, from people who support me, friends, family, social networks, Whatsapp and all over. I appreciate how many people are following me and supporting me.
Q: After your first podium, what is the next objective?
A: The podium from Brno is slowly sinking in but now I am just thinking about scoring more results like that. I have worked hard to get to this point and I felt like a day like this was coming. Obviously the next objective is victory. On Monday after the race I had a rest but on Tuesday I was back in full training because I don't want to relax. The World Championship is very tough and as soon as you back off you get left behind. It has been difficult for me to adjust since making my debut in Qatar last season but now I am riding fast.
Q: How did you feel when you took the lead in the race?
A: I knew it would be tough in the wet, there was more chance of a crash. On the first five laps, when I was leading, I was concentrating hard. Because I was in the lead I didn't have anybody as a reference so I had to give 100% but I didn't feel anything special, just determination to do as well as possible and keep pushing.
Q: When Brad Binder, Khairul Idham Pawi and John McPhee came past did you think 'today is not my day'?
A: I knew there was a large group and I was a little shocked because they were going faster than me. Even so, I knew I could catch them. Just after Pawi passed me, for example, I started to pull him back. Even without the crashes for Binder and Pawi, I feel I could have been on the podium. With those two crashes I was fighting for second place and the last few laps went on forever. I wanted it to be over but I knew I had to earn it by riding a good race.
Q: You have mentioned a few times that the turning point was the new gearbox from Mahindra. What was happening before and what is happening now?
A: I have an aggressive riding style, especially on the brakes, and before when I was shifting down it didn't shift properly, I sometimes didn't know what gear I was in and I almost always had to brake a little early. Now I can brake where I want. Whatever I might lose on the straight I can make up on the brakes.
Q. Your family have always been behind you and at Brno your young brother was there to watch for the first time this season.
A: My parents have made an incredible effort, ever since I started, to get me here. We are a humble family and I have always ridden with support from outside, like the Cuna de Campeones or the Red Bull Rookies Cup. They have given everything they were able to give for me to achieve my dream and at Brno they came along as a surprise. I loved it. They were extra support over the weekend and it is exciting to know they were there for my first podium.
Q. Now we have seven races left and you need just five points to improve your total from last season. How far can you go?
A. I have had a look at the championship and I think I can set an objective of the top six. It will be difficult because the points gap is big but if I can keep up the form I have shown over the past two rounds I think it is achievable.
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