Martin says title race is on after Indian MotoGP Sprint win
By Kyle White
Sunday 24th September, 2023 - 3:30pm
Jorge Martin says his quest to win the MotoGP title is on after wrapping up a third consecutive victory in the Sprint race at the inaugural Indian round of the championship.
A double winner at Misano two weeks ago, Martin led all the way in the 11-lap race on the Pramac Ducati, pulling away from Lenovo Ducati’s Francesco Bagnaia and Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez at the Buddh International Circuit.
The Spaniard reduced reigning champion Bagnaia’s lead at the top by a further three points to 33 ahead of the main race as Martin continued to build on his race-winning momentum.
“It’s open and now I feel much better than I used to feel in the middle of the season,” Martin said of his title battle with Bagnaia.
“I’m pretty happy, I feel like the bike is working super, so we are just focusing on the details.”
Martin escaped the first-corner melee involving VR46 Ducati riders Luca Marini and pole man Marco Bezzecchi, who showed impressive pace after re-joining the race at the rear of the field to fight his way through to fifth.
The Pramac rider expects Bezzecchi to pose a big threat in Sunday’s race along with main title rival Bagnaia.
“It was a nice race, I started super-good – the start was crazy,” he said.
“Then I started to put a great pace on the track, trying to [defend] a bit in the first corners, and trying to be smooth without making any mistakes.
“I was trying to understand the tyres, the track; it was a completely different situation than yesterday.
“We have some good information for tomorrow and I’m very happy to be the first man ever to win in India in MotoGP.
“I’m proud of my team, we did an amazing job – even after today’s crash in Practice 3. So, happy and really confident for tomorrow,” he added.
“I don’t think I needed my 100 percent today – I was trying to conserve a bit on the physical side; trying to increase the gap was the main target, but I was trying to understand the conditions.
“But I think we have some margin to fight back tomorrow with Marco and Pecco.”