Jorge Martin says there was no way he could have held on for victory in the Australian MotoGP after an erroneous tyre compound selection cost him important points in the fight for the 2023 MotoGP World Championship.
The Spaniard looked on course to slash Pecco Bagnaia’s overall lead once again after galloping into a dominant lead from pole position, Martin putting more than three seconds between himself and the opposition in his bid for a seventh win in nine races.
However, having taken the gamble of selecting a softer tyre compound than his rivals, Martin would suffer a rapid decline in performance over the final laps. Reeled in by the chasing pack as the race entered its final lap, Martin couldn’t hold the quartet - Bagnaia included - at bay, leaving him fifth across the finish line.
Losing precious points to Bagnaia, who finished second to Pramac Ducati team-mate Johann Zarco, Martin is now 27 points shy of the Italian in the overall standings with nine races remaining.
“Now, it's very easy to understand that the soft wasn't the right choice and it was the medium. But it is what it is,” Martin conceded.
“I felt good. I was managing the distance [over the others] in the middle of the race. But then six laps to go was the moment when I started to struggle a lot. I saw that I had no rear tyre.
“I saw they were coming. Maybe there were two laps where I maintained a little bit the distance, but in the last lap they recovered half a second in two corners. So there was no way I could win.”
Despite the disappointing conclusion, Martin received the backing of Pramac Ducati team boss Gino Borsoi, adding it was a joint decision between rider and team.
“I’m fully in support of Jorge,” he said. “It was our decision. We will never give up and we have a lot of races in front of us.
“He showed incredible speed all weekend and he is the best rider on track. He lost the race with only one lap to go. He made incredible qualifying and tomorrow is another day.