Martin “didn’t expect to fight for Sprint win”, overcomes mental “block”

Jorge Martin claimed his first MotoGP win of the 2023 season during the Sprint at Le Mans, his first victory since the Styrian Grand Prix two years ago.
Jorge Martin, Ducati MotoGP Le Mans 2023
Jorge Martin, Ducati MotoGP Le Mans 2023

Starting from fifth, Martin set out his intentions immediately as he went around the outside of Marc Marquez and Jack Miller for P2 at turn three.

A risky move considering how tricky the chicane in sector one can be, not to mention tyres would not have been at their optimal condition, Martin braved it regardless before going on to harass Francesco Bagnaia for the lead.

After following the factory Ducati rider for a couple of laps, the Spaniard made his move which turned out to be the winning overtake as no one had the pace to match Martin. 

"I didn’t expect to fight for the win! Maybe to fight [for the podium] but not for the win, for sure," said Martin. "I thought it was a day to prepare for Sunday’s race because I didn’t feel super good during all the sessions. 

"I felt like I didn’t have the bike to fight for it but then, with this temperature, I felt super good. 

"I did a super start and this was the first thing. I was into second position after two corners. This was great. 

"For sure, Sunday will be more difficult to repeat the same but at least I got it today. When I was behind Pecco I saw him struggling a bit with the front and so I tried the move. 

"Then I pushed for two laps and got this small gap of just over one second. I was enjoying the moment a lot. In the last two laps, with this two seconds gap, I was able to enjoy it."

Post-race, Martin also alluded to regaining confidence thanks to his victory, as it was close to two years since he last won. 

Initially calling it a mental ‘block’ that’s he’s overcome, the Pramac Ducati rider elaborated by saying: "About this block, it’s not that I had a block but normally when you have a lot of time without a win, then after the win everything comes easier and you get more confidence. 

"You get the motivation back. I feel like I am at that moment."

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