The Pramac Ducati rider moved into the runner-up position when reigning champion and title rival Francesco Bagnaia crashed out just ahead of him with 8 laps to go.
Although race leader Marco Bezzecchi was long gone, Martin looked to have a safe buffer over Quartararo in third.
But the Spaniard’s leathers were unzipped as the final stages began. It's unclear if it was a visible sign that he was struggling with the intense heat but, risking a penalty, Martin zipped his leathers back up, costing him more time to the Yamaha rider.
Martin was still 1.5s clear as the last lap began, but ran wide at Turn 4. Quartararo briefly snatched second place before Martin flung his GP23 around the M1 into Turn 5 and held on to the finish.
Instead of stopping in parc ferme, Martin rode directly to the Pramac pits and collapsed to his knees as he was given water. The podium ceremony was delayed while he recovered and Martin later missed the post-race press conference.
- Indian MotoGP: New World Championship standings
- Indian MotoGP: Results
- Indian Moto2: Results
- Indian Moto3: Results
“You have to trust me when I say I gave my 100%,” Martin explained in a voice message sent by his team. “I was dehydrated with 8 laps to go. So it was really difficult to finish the race, even though I was able to keep a good pace.
“Finally in the last lap I did a big mistake because of the dehydration and I went wide, so Fabio overtook me. But I could overtake back. So I’m really happy to take this second position.”
After chipping away at Bagnaia’s title lead over the previous four races, Martin is well and truly back into title contention, sitting just 13 points behind the the factory Ducati star heading into next weekend’s Japanese MotoGP.
“I feel super, super happy for the team and also we recovered some points in the championship,” he said. “I think we have to keep the same mentality we came here to try to win, to try to be competitive all the practices and this is the way to be closing the gap.”
A satellite rider has never won the four-stroke ‘MotoGP’ World Championship, which replaced 500cc in 2002.