“Finally another finish, Aleix was simply too strong”

Jorge Martin and race winner Aleix Espargaró – Termas de Río Hondo | © Dorna

Jorge Martin crossed the finish line in second place in the MotoGP race at Termas de Río Hondo on Sunday. After two crashes in Qatar and Indonesia, the Spaniard made it to the finish line for the first time this season but admitted that Aleix Espargaró was a size too big for a win.

After a crash in Qatar that he could do nothing about and a crash in Indonesia that he could do something about, Jorge Martin crossed the finish line again in Argentina at the end of a MotoGP race. On Saturday, he qualified second behind Aleix Espargaró continuing his streak of qualifying into the top two this season.

In the race, the Spaniard got off to a good start and immediately took the lead. He managed to maintain this for most of the race but it was clear that Aleix Espargaró had more speed. However, that did not mean that the Aprilia driver could just win the race because he first had to get past the Pramac Racing driver.

Martin still managed to hold the lead after several attacks, but in the 21st lap Espargaró was definitively alongside. In any case, it was a very strong race from 24-year-old Martin who became the best Ducati driver and again presented himself as one of the absolute top drivers over the entire weekend. So it seems only a matter of time before the best rookie of 2021 takes his second MotoGP victory in 2022. If he also wants to compete for the world title, then the moments of Qatar and Indonesia should not be repeated too often.

Jorge Martin: “I’m happy to finally be able to finish a race again because this year it has been very difficult so far. Anyway, I’ve been really fast and consistent so far and finally we’ve finished in a really good position, I’m really happy about that. I think this has been one of my best weekends in MotoGP so far because we worked hard, we were very consistent and in the race I really gave it my all.

Today was difficult because it was very hot. I knew that Alex [Espargaró] was faster but I tried to keep him behind me. I was stronger under the brakes but in other parts of the track it was incredible. He was particularly strong in sectors 1 and 2. I’m happy for him because he’s a really good friend of mine, it’s good that he’s the one who beat me today and no one else.”

The attacks Aleix Espargaró placed on Martin always happened at the end of the long straight. This was also the part where the Pramac Racing driver struggled with his Ducati Desmocedici GP22.

Jorge Martin: “In Turn 4 before entering the long straight I had a lot of problems. I couldn’t open the throttle all the way there, he [Aleix] got there very quickly. He was the best all weekend so it’s no surprise that he was the best today. I tried, and I got really close with just 0.8 seconds off the win, so I can be happy. Austin is a good track for us, last year I almost finished on the podium there. We must continue in this vein and build on what we have. For now I want to enjoy the moment because it is certainly not easy to participate in the front these days. Today we did that so I’m really happy for the team and myself.”

Like Alex Rins, who finished third, Jorge Martin also praised Aleix Espargaró. Martin has been helped a lot by the Aprilia driver throughout his career and he has certainly not forgotten that.

Jorge Martin: “I am very happy for Aleix. We all know how hard he works, to me he is a very special person. He gave me shelter and food and made sure I could train when I had nothing because he knows like everyone else that I don’t come from a rich family. He has helped me throughout my career and put a lot of time into me to become a better rider. This win is the best that could have happened today and we will definitely have a beer together.”

The MotoGP paddock is already on its way to the Circuit of the Americas for the fourth grand prix of the year, which will take place next weekend. Jorge Martin finished fifth there last October, which was his rookie season at the time.

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