Jorge Martin admits, “We had what it took to win, but it was too little, too late.”

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Jorge Martin found himself conflicted at the Qatar MotoGP as he chose to prioritize tire preservation over sheer speed.

On the penultimate lap of the Qatar MotoGP, Jorge Martin clocked his fastest lap of the race as he started closing in on Brad Binder for second place.

Having won Saturday’s sprint, Martin began the race from pole position once more, only to concede the lead to Francesco Bagnaia midway through the first lap.

Satisfied with the podium finish, Martin believed he could have challenged Bagnaia if he had pushed for a faster pace earlier in the race.

“I’m content with the result,” Martin began. “If you had asked me yesterday, getting on the podium today seemed really challenging, but perhaps we had the potential to win.

“I’m not entirely pleased. I think I was too conservative with the tires at the race’s start, and when Pecco overtook me, everything changed significantly because my front tire pressure increased a bit.

“However, the pace was strong, and with two laps remaining, I managed two 1m 52.7 lap times to distance myself from Marc and almost catch Brad.

“We’ll take the positives from this to Portimao, but I still feel like I’m not extracting 100% from the new bike. If we make improvements, I believe we can be much more competitive.”

Martin did not anticipate that Bagnaia would repeat last season’s strategy of starting the main races quickly to reach the front and manage his front tire pressure.

The Prima Pramac rider commented, “I anticipated a more relaxed start in the first few laps, but as soon as he took the lead, he was pushing; not excessively due to tire concerns, but he was pushing hard.

“I aimed to maintain a balance of speed and tire preservation, but then I found myself in a battle with Brad which was quite challenging.

“I believe I could have pushed a bit harder, but overall, I’m pleased. Hopefully, we can improve our pace in Portimao.”

By increasing his pace towards the end, Martin successfully held off Marc Marquez on his official Ducati debut.

The eight-time world champion closed the gap to Martin with a few laps remaining, seemingly ready to challenge for the final podium position.

However, undaunted by the pit board signaling Marquez’s proximity of less than two tenths, Martin managed to create a gap.

Reflecting on the intense battle, Martin remarked, “I had him within 0.3s for about 10 laps at one point. But with two laps to go, I thought, ‘Alright, it’s time to push a bit harder.’

“I was already giving it 98%, and then I went all out to secure this podium, and it paid off. Let’s see if I can have a bit more margin in Portimao.”

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