But despite missing out on P2 which would have matched his season-best MotoGP result from the Argentine and Catalan races, Martin left Motegi in high spirits after re-finding ‘confidence’ with the front. 

After a brilliant start Martin then took the lead from Binder on lap one, before a charging Jack Miller came through at turn 11 a few laps later.

That was the last Martin saw of Miller, who took victory in dominant fashion

"It was a great race in general, 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," said Martin. 

"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."

While Martin celebrated his third podium of the season, team-mate Johann Zarco had a disastrous race as he dropped from second to 11th. 

As low as 13th following three mistakes in quick succession, Zarco took advantage of Francesco Bagnaia crashing out on the final lap to move back up a position, while also getting the better of Repsol Honda rider Pol Espargaro.

After qualifying second Zarco positioned himself for another title at claiming his first MotoGP win, however, the wait goes on for the former Yamaha rider who has lacked form in race conditions compared to other Ducati riders of late.

Speaking to MotoGP.com, Zarco said: "It was quite tough, yes. Clearly, trying to overtake Vinales on the first five laps; I made this mistake and the three mistakes in a row, I lost too many positions from seventh and I have been [left] in 13th position. 

"Then it became quite tough because the others, the top ten group was having a good pace and I could not recover. I did my best until the end." 

Overtaking was also a problem for Zarco, as it was for many of the Ducati riders at Motegi -  except Miller - something that hasn't been an issue for much of 2022.

When asked if this was a contributing factor to not having the pace to fight back up the order, Zarco added: "It seems [like it was], yes. We had a big difference when following compared to staying alone and that’s what made it tricky sometimes to overtake. 

"When you want to overtake you need to feel really comfortable as did Jack [Miller]. It was amazing."