Pramac’s Jorge Martin had what he described as a ‘complete day’ at Spielberg on Saturday after securing his second record-breaking pole fresh from an FP3 crash which sent him into Q1.
“Unfortunately today was a really difficult day for me because as soon as I started, I wasn’t riding comfortable. I felt like a rookie, I was feeling really bad with a bike - the same setting as last week but I don’t know why I couldn’t brake, the bike was shaking, and also in acceleration I felt, no grip,” he explained from the Red Bull Ring paddock after the electrifying qualifying session.
“Even though I was making really competitive times - I was in the top five all FP3 - but then, when it was the time to push, I was a bit nervous I wasn’t confident and then this crash. I tried a bit too much and then I had this crash in the last corner. Then I was missing a bit of confidence for the FP4 but anyway we did some changes in the bike - in the front and also the rear - and we found the solution, so I was feeling confident with used tyres.
“My pace all the day was strong. I can see for sure many riders that are quite competitive for tomorrow but we worked well, the team did an amazing job after two crashes to prepare all the bikes and everything.”
Despite setting an all-time lap record last weekend before going on to win the Styrian race, Martin was still downplaying his potential both before and after his repeat performance this afternoon.
“For qualifying, in the Q1 I was a bit nervous because you always take this risk to not go through Q2, but I did an amazing job - doing ‘23.1 with the hot conditions.
“The conditions were really different to the morning and I was comfortable. Then thanks to my teammate, I got this tow for improving and I can be there. The lap record is amazing. I’m living a dream and I hope tomorrow we can fight for the podium.
“It was a really complete day, because we had really bad moment but also an impressive qualifying. In the qualifying, we could see that I was super confident, a lot of stability on braking and also a really good rear grip, so I’m confident for tomorrow.
“For sure we can see Fabio, Pecco, Zarco and Mir maybe, these four riders that are really strong but we are also, so we will try to battle for a podium and let’s see if we can manage a bit the tyre for the end.
“Also in the lap, I had an issue. I was a bit scared because the front was shaking, a lot of vibrations like chattering but only on braking. But I remember in Le Mans Moto3 when I did pole position, I had also same. So I pushed till the end and I hit this pole position. I’m happy, super happy, I’m living a dream because, being in MotoGP, making pole positions and podiums, is incredible.
“I expect, if it’s dry, a really hot race so it will be more difficult for the tyres. I think the most difficult will be to decide the front tyre, because, as you can see everybody’s trying hard and I’m not feeling super confident because I just did three laps. It’s not bad but I’m missing something, so we need to understand where in warm up if we have time, and decide which will be my tyre.
“I hope to learn a lot tomorrow, try to finish in the top five. I know it’s not really optimistic but I think for a rookie is enough. I don’t want to put a lot of pressure on myself, for sure we can battle for a win, but if not, will be okay.”