It's been anything but a quiet winter for Moto2's Jorge Martin, who had to overcome knee surgery and further foot injuries alongside a switch from KTM to Kalex.

The former Moto3 champion had put in a strong end to his rookie Moto2 campaign with two podiums and a pair of front-row starts for the Ajo team, but KTM's withdraw from the intermediate class meant a switch to Kalex for 2020.

"At the end of last season I was good, quite competitive, then we changed the bike and it really difficult at the beginning to understand the new bike," martin said.

"I also had surgery three months ago, then when I came back to testing I broke my foot again.

"Every season I pray not to have any injuries. Now I am almost 100% fit. But the pre-season was hard. The surgery on my knee was really aggressive, but in Jerez I already improved my best time, also here in Qatar.

"I'm still struggling to find a good feeling with the front of the bike but I think it's the same for everybody. So I'm just trying to work hard and understand every move we make. Hopefully this weekend we can find a way to fight for victory."

Pressed on the differences between the previous tubular-steel KTM chassis and the aluminium Kalex, Martin replied:

"It was a big change last year from steel to now aluminium. What I feel the most is everything is softer, so you can feel better what the bike is doing.

"But maybe too soft, because last year the bike was so stable during the corners and also the strongest point I think was braking.

"This year I am struggling more on that side, but it's also nice to feel what the bike is doing and I think that's the biggest change."

Despite the front-end issues, Martin was top Kalex during the final pre-season test in Qatar, venue for this weekend's season opener, and just 0.135s behind Speed Up's Jorge Navarro.

"I think the biggest area [we've improved for this year] is in terms of aerodynamics, because we always had a lack of top speed," revealed Navarro, who took eight podiums on his way to fourth overall in last year's standings.

"To fight in the races is difficult when you don’t have this top speed because mainly at the beginning of the race everybody is very aggressive and when you don’t have this chance to arrive to the braking point near the rider in front, its difficult to overtake.

"I think this was the weakest point last year, that I had to wait a long time to make a safe move and I always arrived late to fight for the victory 'ah, with one or two laps more I could win'.

"I think this year with the new aerodynamics, it will be easier to overtake other riders."

Opening free practice starts on Friday afternoon at Losail.

 

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