Jorge Martin says his first MotoGP podium finish is “good enough” after leading 18 laps of the Doha Grand Prix, admitting he “would have signed” for the result if offered prior.
Martin led the bulk of the second event held at the Losail International Circuit from his first ever premier class pole, though he was unable to hold back the advances of eventual race winner Fabio Quartararo and Pramac Ducati team-mate Johann Zarco in the closing stages and ultimately dropped to third by the flag.
Martin emphasised prior to the race that learning would be more important than pushing for victory in the Doha GP as he finds his way in his rookie premier class campaign, though accepted that late on thoughts of a possible success did creep into his mind.
“It wasn’t easy because trying to keep concentrated and at a good pace for 18 laps was hard, and for a moment I thought the podium was possible and then maybe even the victory, but then I lacked a bit of speed and Fabio (Quartararo) had an amazing pace, but in the end this is experience that I need so step by step we’ll become stronger,” explained Martin to BT Sport post-race.
“It was a really tough race because I was leading for 18 laps and this is not easy for a rookie.
“I’m really happy with my performance because the target I had was to manage my tyre until the end of the race, and I did that great so that is super important for me.
“It was difficult to learn too much today because for sure I gained experience in keeping concentration and race management, but I thought a lot of riders would overtake me earlier and so I could learn a bit more so overall it was difficult to learn much, but I was just pushing to understand the bike and learn more about the tyres.”
While Martin conceded that he was not “100% happy” with finishing third after leading 18 laps and losing second to Zarco just two corners from home, he was satisfied that he managed to put in a “mature” performance as he looked after his rubber well whilst leading.
“I’m not 100% happy with the position because losing the second place in the last few corners is a shame but if you’d told me at the start of the race I’d finish third I would have signed for sure, so I’m happy with my mature race and to be on the podium in my second MotoGP race from the pole is good enough,” continued Martin.
“I think it was better to lead because I was controlling the pace quite well, I could feel sometimes some riders trying to overtake me so I pushed a little bit more as I wanted to stay in front as when you’re alone you can control the pace and tyres better.
“We never have limits and we can always be stronger, and while I’m happy for sure I want a little bit more.”