JORGE MARTIN: THE NEXT BIG THING?
O New Moto3 champ reveals why he has been so close to quitting
Jorge Martin showed why many in grand prix racing are tipping him as the next big thing after claiming the 2018 Moto3 title in dominant style at Sunday’s Malaysian Grand Prix. After looking strong all season despite injuries and bad luck, the Spaniard rode off into the distance at Sepang while rival Marco Bezzecchi scrapped for a distant top five place.
Going into the weekend with just a 12-point lead over the Italian, the Del Conca Gresini rider had the confidence to do what he does best: riding cautiously in the early stages of a race before breaking through to the front with a handful of laps to go. Using the scorching single lap pace that’s taken him to 50% of pole positions this season and last, he was then able to make the break, leaving Bezzecchi to cross the line in fifth.
Visibly emotional after the race, Martin’s success is a huge accomplishment for the 20-yearold who admitted afterwards that it’s not that long since he almost gave up motorcycle racing altogether as his family struggled to come up with the financial support needed.
Without the help of the allexpenses-paid programs of many of his rivals (Bezzecchi, for example, is a fully paid-up member of Valentino Rossi’s VR46 Academy) Martin is instead a graduate and winner of Red Bull KTM’S free-to-enter Rookies Cup.
“My family put in everything they had for my dreams and I owe them everything,” he told MCN. “I’ve had tough moments through my career and almost stopped racing, so I owe them for helping me to make it to a world championship. Sometimes it was hard for me and them because we’re a humble family. I did the Rookies Cup for one year. It looked like I was going to stay at home the next but we kept going.”
The Mallorca native didn’t have an easy season in 2018 either, as bad luck and injuries set him back.
“I never gave up fighting. I broke my wrist on Friday in the Czech Republic and I was racing the following Friday in Austria. There were some moments when I thought that I didn’t want to keep pushing or to keep working so hard. Even in Thailand, when I couldn’t open my hand, my team came together and made me a special glove, just so that I could keep fighting.”
The battle between Martin and Bezzecchi looks set to continue in 2019 as the pair both progress to the Moto2 class.
Martin will replace 2018 runner-up Miguel Olivera at the Red Bull KTM team while Bezzecchi will also be on a KTM within the highly regarded Tech 3 squad.
Martin will switch to KTM when he moves up to Moto2
Mallorca native says he owes his family ‘everything’