's Top 10 MotoGP Riders of 2021: 6th - Jorge Martin

Rookie Jorge Martin places sixth in our top ten rider countdown for the 2021 MotoGP season.
Jorge Martin MotoGP race, Styria MotoGP, 8 August 2021
Jorge Martin MotoGP race, Styria MotoGP, 8 August 2021
© Gold and Goose Photography
  • Team: Pramac Ducati (satellite)
  • Bike: GP21
  • Wins: 1
  • Podiums: 4
  • Best Qualifying: Pole (x4)
  • Fastest Lap: 0
  • DNFs: 4
  • Championship position: 9th

Jorge Martin made an instant impression on MotoGP when he blasted from 14th on the grid to 4th at the start of his very first premier-class race in Qatar.

Although he dropped to 15th by the finish, Martin proved he's a quick learner by not only snatching a shock pole position the following week but leading for much of the race on his way to a debut podium.

But his stunning progress came to a punishing halt with a huge accident and multiple fractures next time at Portimao, forcing him out of four races.

A shadow of his former self physically in the initial comeback events, Martin even withdrew from the Assen race, just before the summer break, at only half-distance.

The Qatar success seemed a long time ago, but the young Spaniard took advantage of vital healing time during the summer break to make another giant leap forward, returning with pole position and an historic victory in Austria.

Winning in the MotoGP era as a rookie put Martin alongside such illustrious names as Marc Marquez, Jorge Lorenzo, Dani Pedrosa. But the others achieved their wins with factory teams, while Martin's was not only the first by a rookie satellite rider, but first by anyone at a satellite Ducati team.

Two further podiums helped Martin climb from 18th (after Assen) to ninth in the final standings, but all things considered - not least his rookie status and comeback from injuries - we feel sixth is deserved in our top ten countdown.

That also means Martin edges out Zarco to be our top satellite rider of the season, a feat the Spaniard would have achieved for real had he been able to equal his 88 points during the second half of the season, in the injury-interrupted first half.

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