We’ve got to know Enea Bastianini (Avintia Esponsorama Racing) and Luca Marini (SKY VR46 Avintia Team), now it’s time to delve into the Grand Prix story of Ducati’s other MotoGP™ rookie: Pramac Racing’s Jorge Martin.
The Spaniard’s journey on the world stage began with his debut in the Red Bull Rookies Cup during the 2012 season. It was an injury-plagued campaign, but the following year saw Martin finish runner-up. 2014 then came around and Martin dominated the series, taking the Rookies Cup crown ahead of his maiden season in Moto3™.
He landed in the Aspar ranks for the 2015 and 2016 seasons, where Martin secured one podium – a P2 at the Czech GP. For 2017, Martin moved to Gresini to replace now-MotoGP™ rival Bastianini, and it was a switch that brought immediate success. 2017 is when we saw Martin’s superior Saturday afternoon pace, as he notched up a total of nine pole positions in the Moto3™ season. To go with it Martin racked up nine podiums, with the long-awaited maiden Grand Prix victory coming his way at the season finale in Valencia.
That win really set Martin up for a stellar 2018. Seven victories, three other podiums and a record 11 pole positions were some of the stats behind Martinator’s unreal Moto3™ title-winning season, and sure enough, a Moto2™ move with Red Bull KTM Ajo was on the cards for 2019.
As expected, Martin looked at home from the off in the intermediate class. Two podiums in Japan and Australia were achieved in his rookie Moto2™ year, with confirmation of his speed coming in 2020. In a Covid-19 affected season, the Spaniard cemented six podiums, two of those coming in the form of victories in Austria and Valencia. Martin was one of the leading contenders for the crown, but an unfortunate positive Covid-19 result prevented him from racing in two rounds, ultimately costing him a shot at the title.
No matter, Martin’s talent and speed were obvious. KTM and Honda were reportedly keen on his signature, but it was Ducati and Pramac Racing that landed Martin’s services for 2021 and beyond, as the Bologna factory add three rookies to their line-up. As is the same with Bastianini and Marini, Martin will be hoping it’s him that claims the MotoGP™ Rookie of the Year reward come November, a stepping stone to becoming Ducati’s new Spanish hero.