Martin: “We achieved our goal today”, fight with Alex ‘not my battle’

Jorge Martin says finishing ahead of Francesco Bagnaia in the MotoGP sprint at Sepang was more important than beating Alex Marquez to victory.
Jorge Martin, Pramac Ducati MotoGP Sepang 2023
Jorge Martin, Pramac Ducati MotoGP Sepang 2023

Martin was embroiled in an early race fight with Marquez as the pair exchanged P2 on four occasions.

Marquez was the rider who came away from that fight on top before attacking Bagnaia for the race lead on lap six.

Martin followed Marquez through five corners later, however, the damage was already done as Marquez had put over half a second between himself and the Pramac rider.

Martin did have ideas on winning the race after his early overtake on Marquez, before choosing to pick his battles carefully.

The Spaniard told “When I overtook Alex I thought I was going to win it because I felt as though I was stronger than Pecco at that point, because in the beginning of the race I was struggling. 

“But when I saw Alex [be so] aggressive and trying to be in front with a good pace, I just tried to fight back for second position. We achieved our goal today and we will try again tomorrow.”

Although it wasn’t an eighth sprint win for the Martinator, finishing second, and crucially ahead of Bagnaia for the third consecutive race, means Martin has closed to within 11 points of the series lead. 

But when asked if he would have fought Marquez if the opportunity to do so was there, Martin said: “Yes! It is not my battle but if I had the chance to fight back I would have done it and in the end of the race I was trying to recover a little bit but I wasn’t crazy about that. 

“I didn’t want to make a mistake. I think we did a great job and he will try to be as aggressive tomorrow.”

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