JORGE MAR­TIN: THE NEXT BIG THING?

O New Moto3 champ re­veals why he has been so close to quit­ting

Motorcycle News (UK) - - Motogp - By Si­mon Pat­ter­son MO­TOGP RE­PORTER

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’

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