2 weeks ago
New to motogp.com?Register here
Jorge Martin is now just over a month away from making his highly-anticipated MotoGP™ debut with Pramac Racing. However, things could've been very different if the Spaniard had opted to go in another direction. Speaking exclusively to motogp.com at the Circuito de Almeria where he's continuing his 2021 season preparations, the 22-year-old admits "it was difficult" to decide who to ride for in the premier class this year after being offered "good opportunities in other brands".
Both KTM and Honda were rumoured to have been interested in the former Moto3™ World Champion, with Ducati eventually fighting off said interest from elsewhere to secure Martin's services for the next two years.
"It was difficult to decide which factory because I had good opportunities in other brands, so it was tough. When you have the chance to go to different factory bikes, you’re super happy and thankful to all the factories for the opportunity but it’s tough to pick one because you really don’t know. In Ducati, I had this family crew and this passion for the bike and for the brand and this was super important for me. They have confidence in me, they’re ready to start working and I’m ready to create something special together."
The Italian factory brings him onboard having finished fifth in the Moto2™ World Championship last year, a title the Madrid rider says he lost "because of Covid-19", after testing positive halfway through the season and subsequently missing both rounds at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli.
"I’m not sure about what I achieved in the end," started Martin when reflecting on his two years in the intermediate class. "But I’m happy with my performance. My target in Moto2 was to win the Championship and I didn’t get it because of Covid, that’s for sure. I was one of the strongest riders out there and every race I was battling for the podium or for victories. It was a pity, but I am relaxed and calm about it because I know I had the level to win it. For sure, I’d have loved to be Moto3 and Moto2 World Champion before going to MotoGP, but it’s okay and I’m happy with my results.
"This pre-season I haven’t been injured, which is a nice change because the last three years I have been injured throughout pre-season. Those last few years it was difficult getting back on the bike, back training but luckily this year, as soon as we finished in Portimao, I was training motocross as much as possible; it’s one of my favourite disciplines. Super happy to be really fit in mid-January and I can’t wait to get started. I’m ready for the challenge of MotoGP.
Martin was recently handed a brand-new Ducati Panigale V4S from Ducati to help aid his transition to the bigger, more powerful bikes. He got his first taste last week at the Circuito de Cartagena before continuing his work in Almeria this week, and the Spaniard was instantly impressed with Ducati's WorldSBK challenger.
"The first impression was amazing. I’ve never been on a Superbike before, the Moto2 bike was the most powerful I had ridden before this. In Cartagena, I was impressed with the power. This is the closest thing for the moment to the Desmosedici, so I’m really thankful to Ducati for giving me this bike to train with. After three days I feel I can manage the power and I’m now trying to manage the tyres with lots of laps on them.
"The Moto2 bike is already really powerful compared to a 600, but now I’m changing the lines even more with this. You have to brake really hard and straight, then turn quickly and full-throttle whilst picking up the bike. This is the main thing I think, picking up the bike and getting as much power as you can through the tyre. It’s also the first time with traction control, which I’m trying to learn by myself. Every lap I’m improving my time and pace though, so I’m happy so far after four days.
"After two months without being on a road bike, it was tough. I feel it’s more physically demanding. It moves a lot, there’s no time to rest like in Moto2 but I have to get fit and ready for MotoGP."
Photos by: Pedro Luis Llamazares
2 weeks ago
3 weeks ago