Jorge Martin has declared that “everything is open” as he looks to heap pressure on MotoGP points leader Francesco Bagnaia after the Ducati man crashed at the Indian Grand Prix.
The Pramac Ducati pilot was looking to take further points out of Bagnaia having already outscored him in the past four races in succession. This came due to wins for the Spaniard in the past three contests, including the Saturday sprint race at the Buddh International Circuit.
A gamble to fit the medium compound rear tyre for the full-length Indian GP backfired though as Martin struggled to match eventual race winner Marco Bezzecchi and Bagnaia, who managed to move clear of him for second with around a thirds-distance left to run.
Bagnaia made a crucial error though as he tried to open the gap to Martin by dropping his Ducati at Turn 5 soon after. This gifted Martin the chance to shave a further 20 points from the Italian’s championship advantage by finishing second, the pair separated by just 13 points heading into next weekend’s Japanese GP.
Martin insisted he was already focussing on “fighting for the win in Japan” as he aims to further close on the points lead, the Spaniard happy to get the end having suffered from being severely dehydrated in the closing tours.
“I’m really happy with today’s race, you can see that I gave 150% but it was a really tough race,” explained Martin.
“Towards the end, I was badly dehydrated and couldn’t even stay on my feet when I got off the bike, but it was important to get on the podium for me and my team.
“Everything is now open (for championship) and I am focused on fighting for the win in Japan, it’s a good track for us and last year we had an amazing result so I will focus on recovering well to fight for the victory.”
Martin conceded that the decision to choose the medium compound rear tire made his race “complicated”.
His troubles were further accentuated by his ever-worsening physical condition as a result of dehydration and his leathers coming undone, forcing him to zip them back up as he tried to fend off a closing Fabio Quartararo in the latter stages.
“It was a complicated race because right from the beginning I could see the medium was the wrong choice,” continued Martin.
“I remained calm but even though I was able to overtake Pecco It was impossible to pull away and he later passed me, but he was pushing so hard and then he crashed.
“After that, I don’t think I’d closed my leathers well and they came open so I had to reclose them, so I’d lost a lot of energy by that point and the final five or six laps were so tough.
“Eight laps to go was the point where I started to lose concentration due to being dehydrated, and for sure (at Turn 3) I braked at the wrong point and went off.
“When I came back on and fell behind Fabio I knew I had to take those points, so at Turn 6 I went around the outside giving my 100% and I think he saw I wasn’t giving up the points.”