Jorge Martin: Not just me vs Pecco, “Aleix doing a great job, Enea will arrive”

Jorge Martin declares he’s ready to start the 2024 MotoGP season after set-up breakthrough with new Ducati fairing.

Jorge Martin, Qatar MotoGP test, 19 February
Jorge Martin, Qatar MotoGP test, 19 February

The Qatar MotoGP test began as the Sepang test had ended, with reigning champion Francesco Bagnaia and title runner-up Jorge Martin first and second on the timesheets.

Once again, the margin between them was a mere 0.2s as both worked to fine-tune the latest parts for the Desmosedici GP24.

Bagnaia was seen following Martin in the closing stages of Monday’s track time, adding to the impression that this season could turn into ‘round two’ of last year’s title duel.

“I knew he was there on the last lap I did [but] I was already with a really used tyre,” Martin told 

“Yeah, he followed me, it's OK. I followed him also one time and I think we are working on the same page, let's say, because we are trying to make the new bike work.

“We are not in the same team but we are in the same factory, so we are working with the same target.”

The five-time MotoGP race winner also insisted there are a lot of other fast riders ready to fight at the front.

“Also Aleix is doing a great job, Enea will arrive. There are a lot of riders that can do it, so I'll focus on myself, trying to improve and be fast,” he said.

Aprilia’s Espargaro topped the timesheets on his way to third place (+0.292s) with Bagnaia’s factory team-mate Enea Bastianini also featuring at the sharp end on his way to eighth (+0.549s).

Nonetheless, a 'happy' Martin warned that he has found a comfortable set-up for the new Ducati fairing and is ready to start racing.

“I’m happy. Finally, I found a good base I think for the new season,” he said. “I've been struggling a bit with the new fairing to find how to make it work and finally today I feel like we did a great job.

“I think we are ready for the season to start. Hopefully tomorrow we can work a bit more on the setup and try to improve a little bit the pace, but overall I'm quite happy.”

Martin is again joined by Ducati test rider Michele Pirro with team-mate Franco Morbidelli still unable to ride due to last month’s superbike training accident.

However, Morbidelli is present as a spectator in Qatar.

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