Prima Pramac’s Jorge Martin completed the Japanese Grand Prix podium on Sunday after being denied second in the closing stages.
Taking the lead on lap one, from fifth on the Motegi grid, Martin was only matched by Jack Miller until the final of 24 laps when Brad Binder demoted him to third.
“It was a great race in general,” Martin said after his third podium visit of the year. “For sure a pity I didn’t try the hard tyre in the warm up because I think it was the key today to being a bit more competitive.
“I made a great start, I was managing the rear a bit on the exit but I saw straight away, after six laps when I was behind Jack, that I was asking too much to try and keep the pace so I slowed a bit and tried to keep a constant pace to keep some tyre for the end.
“It was difficult, when I saw 14 laps to go I was a bit on the limit and thought I was a bit in trouble for the end. I tried to keep the distance with Brad but when he arrived with two or three to go it was a shame as second would have been even better but I’m happy with this podium. To be back for the first time since Barcelona, so a lot of races, and I have the confidence back I was missing in the front and starting to brake a bit harder.
“I’m getting used to this bike, that for the moment is difficult to understand a base setup for,” he continued on his struggles with the GP22. “With this new bike we are struggling all the year and I hope everything comes to the way it has to for next year.
“It was a pity that I had an issue in the last sector with engine brake so I almost crashed and then I lost almost one second. If not, I think I was able to keep the second position.
“But yeah, when I saw he was coming and he was closer and closer, I tried to close the lines. I tried to brake hard and exit well, but he was with better edge grip and you could see on his overtaking that I couldn’t do that line. It was impossible for me. But for sure he deserves it also after a long season and he’s struggling also so I’m happy for him, happy for Jack. To be on the podium is amazing for me and I hope to go again during the year and fight for that victory that we are waiting for.”