until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League


Martin refutes tempting explanation for 2022 MotoGP low

by Valentin Khorounzhiy
3 min read

until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League

Jorge Martin endured his “most difficult” MotoGP weekend yet at Misano – but says it’s not accurate to tie it to his mindset after his Ducati 2023 snub.

Having originally expected to get a factory Ducati MotoGP ride for next year, Martin ultimately lost out on the promotion to Enea Bastianini – something he admitted in the lead-up to Misano had disappointed him.

He then had a particularly off-colour weekend at the Italian track, failing to make Q2 either through practice or through Q1, and ultimately rode a fairly quiet race to ninth. He was comfortably last of the four Ducati riders that, unlike five of their stablemates, didn’t hit the deck during the 27-lap event.

“It’s been a really difficult weekend, I think the most difficult in my MotoGP career,” Martin asserted afterwards.

His Pramac Ducati team manager Fonsi Nieto had suggested in the lead-up to qualifying on Saturday that morale was playing a part in Martin’s weekend going wrong.

“For sure it’s a difficult weekend for us, after the decision of Ducati, the mentality of him is not 100 percent positive,” Nieto told the official MotoGP broadcast. “It’s not so positive.

“We have to push, in the team, to try to make him strong like before.

“We try our best because he is a super talent. We have to fight.”

But when that explanation was put to Martin in the post-race Misano test, he said: “I don’t think so. I don’t think it was about that. Obviously, when something is not coming easy, everybody tries to understand and look for a solution – but I don’t think it was that.

Jorge Martin

“I did an amazing test, the team is super happy, Ducati’s happy – so just focusing on myself and trying to be competitive with the same bike as the other ones.”

Martin’s test did indeed appear to be a marked improvement – having struggled to match his fellow Ducati riders under braking during the weekend, he was “much closer to Pecco [Bagnaia]” in that area during the two days of testing.

He finished the test sixth-quickest, recording a much faster laptime than he had officially managed during the weekend.

Yet that was perhaps deceptive, and there’s reason to view Martin’s off weekend as one conditioned by circumstances just as much as any lack of pace or focus.

His actual best lap of the weekend should’ve been a 1m31.787s – not that far off test pace – that was deleted due to yellow flags.

That lap should’ve taken him to Q2, and he was also then on course to progress to the pole shoot-out during Q1, only for VR46 Ducati’s Luca Marini to outfox him by doing his second run sooner and outpacing Martin by 0.011s – with Martin prevented from responding due to rain.

But the race itself was really muted even given those concessions – and Martin believes a major gain, enabled by a switch to a better-suiting base set-up, has indeed been found.

“[The braking] was my weak point, and if we improve this in the rest of the tracks we can be competitive and fighting for the win.”

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