Pramac Racing boss Gino Borsoi says it’s far too early in the 2023 MotoGP season for the team to even think about the possibility of title aspirations even after Jorge Martin’s incredible double victory at the German Grand Prix.
Martin’s two wins moved him to within only 16 points of reigning world champion Pecco Bagnaia after seven rounds of the season.
Martin looked incredibly strong throughout the weekend at the Sachsenring last weekend, clearing off in Saturday’s sprint before holding off Bagnaia in a last-lap battle in Sunday’s main event.
And, when combined with the fact that he hasn’t finished a race lower than fourth for the last four rounds of the championship, it means that title aspirations are not wildly optimistic thinking for the Ducati team, especially when combined with the performances of his team-mate Johann Zarco.
Finishing third behind Martin and Bagnaia on Sunday, it means that Zarco too has scored podiums in the last three main event races in a row, catapulting him to fourth in the championship and leaving Pramac sitting a comfortable 38 points in front in the teams’ championship race.
But, despite that dream start to the opening half of the season (a half that concludes this weekend at Assen before a five-week summer break), team boss Borsoi, who moved to the squad from dominant Moto2 and Moto3 team Aspar at the start of the year, says that it’s far too early for them to start thinking about their title aspirations.
“We have to go step by step,” he insisted to The Race after Sunday’s race. “Of course I’m so happy, with my guys and with my riders because they did an amazing job again this weekend. But we don’t need to think about the championship, we just have to work hard again at the next race because it’ll be really important.
“Then let’s see what’s going on from the middle to the end of the season. This is just the first part of the season and we don’t need to dream so much at the minute. We have to be happy, of course, but we have to work step by step.”
Can Martin win the title?
The Race says
I know there’s a lot of momentum right now in favour of a Jorge Martin title tilt this year, but the adage that I’ve always claimed to be a golden rule in MotoGP still rings true for me right now: satellite teams simply cannot win MotoGP rider titles.
Sure, Martin absolutely has the consistency and the speed at this point of the season, but the hardest part of the year is still to come – the seven overseas races in 10 weeks that conclude the championship. That’s where the extra resources of a factory team really shine through, and that’s where I’d expect Bagnaia to pull ahead.
It might not always sound like a lot, but it’s the theory of marginal gains. A mechanic who flies business class rather than economy, direct flights for your crew rather than cheaper connecting options, three or four data engineers concentrating on your factory rider rather than the one that the satellite guy might have. They all add up, and I still believe that at the end of the year they’ll add up in favour of Bagnaia.
The results of Borsoi’s team have also catapulted Ducati well ahead in the constructors’ standings, now leading it by a huge 113 points – something that, after putting eight bikes in the top nine at the Sachsenring, comes as a natural part of their new strategy of providing top-level equipment to all their teams.
“Ducati, in the last few seasons,” Borsoi explained, “have done an amazing job even for the satellite teams, for the independent teams as we are. They’ve supplied the perfect bike, and we at least have all the same material, more or less.
“This is something really important for us, but it’s also something really beautiful for Ducati because at the end of the day they can have a lot of bikes in front of everyone.”
And with more bikes comes more ability to be in front, too, according to the ex-racer. Not just able to rely on championship-winning machinery in 2023 but also able to access the data that comes from the other six Ducatis on the grid, he says that their data-sharing is the real reason why there are so many fast Desmosedicis right now, especially in the context of MotoGP’s new shorter than ever weekend format.
“It’s important,” Borsoi added, “because this kind of system of work gives us the opportunity to see the data of all the other teams, and for this reason, I think this is the key of Ducati.
“For this reason we are able to grow all the time, because when you are able to see the data of the other riders you can learn, you can see where they are better than us, and at the end of the day we can improve easily.
“The weekend is so short, but when you have all the data in front of you it gives you the time to find the best setup for the rider.”