Jorge Martin was frustrated and hurt when just over a year ago Ducati promoted another rider to accompany Pico Bagnaia in the official team. The seat had been reserved for him until the emergence of Enea Bastianini, with four wins last season sowing doubts among the upper echelons of the Bologna manufacturer that sets the pace in the MotoGP World Championship. Finally, the Italian was chosen over the Spaniard, who turned the emotional blow into a challenge to make history in the competition. His goal since then has been to win the title with a special Pramac bike in 2023.
“This is the only motivation I have for what they have given me,” he said in an interview with El Pais newspaper shortly after learning of the decision. A year later, the 25-year-old driver from Madrid is executing his script to the letter. This Saturday he once again cut points from the current champion and competition leader by finishing second in the race raceIt was won by Alex Marquez. Martin, after falling on his final attempt on a fast lap at Sepang, will start from second place on Sunday (08:00, DAZN) behind Bagnaia, who has 11 points at the top of the classification. At the Malaysian Grand Prix, both are competing in the first of three remaining title finals on several successive weekends.
Since Valentino Rossi with Honda in 2001, no satellite has won the championship, a fact that has never happened since the change from the 500cc formula to the current MotoGP format. “If I didn’t want the championship I wouldn’t be here, and if I didn’t think about it, no one else would,” Martin said. The Spaniard’s excellent competition has opened the doors to the official team once again. Those in charge of the Borgo Panigale brand, as this newspaper has been able to gather, will consider demoting Bastianini, something that has been rejected this season due to numerous injuries and a distinct lack of rhythm compared to the brand’s heavyweights. The Rimini rider, in particular, had his best Saturday of the year with third place on the grid and retained fourth place in the race behind Bagnaia. Despite this reaction, if he wins the title, Martin will force the manufacturer to upgrade him so he can continue to brag about being the world number one.
The current battle between Bagnaia and Martin for supremacy in the MotoGP World Championship has upset many historical figures in the motorcycle world. Pasture. “It seems strange to me to complicate your champion’s life in this way. Ducati’s race directors have made a mistake in the way they treat their riders,” says Casey Stoner, competition legend and first champion with the Desmosedici team in 2007. Very clear in this regard. The manufacturer should win, because the main sponsors and their reputation come from the results of the official team. And also because the most resources are invested in it, it is an economic injection that is difficult to justify if another team with less purchasing power overtakes you on the right.
However, under the leadership of Gigi d’Alegna, Ducati Corse’s senior sporting director, the group’s policy was to give complete competitive freedom to its eight riders on the track. “It is true that only one is wearing red, but they have the same motorcycle,” Claudio Domenicali, CEO of Bologna, said a few days ago. “May the best win!” The leader added La Gazzetta dello Sport When asked about the fight between Bagnaia and Martin. Behind closed doors, there are those who question the appropriateness of the all-out battle promoted by the manufacturer itself. But in public, Ducati defends its management. “It may seem strange, but thanks to this policy we were able to promote the growth of pilots who jumped from Pramac to the official team. Petrucci, Miller, Bagnaia… Last year we were about to promote Jorge, but Bastianini’s victories made us change our mind,” he says. Paolo Ciabati, the group’s sporting director, told this newspaper.
Albert Valera, Martin’s agent, confirms that there have not yet been any talks with Ducati leadership about a hypothetical promotion for his client. He and the driver leave the ball in Borgo Panigale’s court. “My goal is to wear red, and why not go for it. “It depends on them, and on whether they behave and want to do it,” recalls the Madrid native. “I think this is the goal that all riders strive for, and my results deserve this seat,” he adds. About the possibility of ending up on the official bike in 2024. Even though you are a member of a private group, your contract links you directly to the factory. Pramac colors are, practically, camouflage. And Gino Borsoi, Satellite’s sporting director, realizes that anything can To happen. He continued: “There are possibilities, but there is no comment from Ducati. Now I understand that Jorge will stay here, but this Pasture It’s a box of surprises.
In the world of motorcycles, at the end of the day, looks matter. And a lot. Every pilot’s dream is to wear official factory gear, as Martin himself always realized. A large part of prestige goes into this, but also the best economic conditions, the best technical resources and, usually, the preference when making sporting decisions in favor of the pilot who acts as a reference for the brand in question. The Madrid driver feels that if he wins the World Championship, the prize will be double for him. At stake is the title of history and the most famous motorcycle on the entire grid.
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