Before the last race of the season, Spaniard Jorge Martin has only theoretical chances to win the world championship title.
The outcome of Sunday’s race for the Qatar GP may have already been decided by the duel for the title of world champion in the motoGP royal class between Italians Francesco Bagnaio (Dozens) and Spaniards Jorge Martin (Dozens).
By winning Saturday’s sprint test, the latter halved his gap to Bagnania, and then finished only in a modest tenth place on Sunday, thus losing real chances in the fight with the leading Italian.
The defending champion took a big step towards a new laurel, the last race will decide
Bagnania was just behind the winner on Sunday Fabio Di Giannantoni, so he will defend his 21-point lead over Martin next week in Valencia. In theory, he can already secure his second consecutive world championship title in Saturday’s sprint.
Martin started Sunday’s race in Qatar as one of the main favorites to win, but his big plans were thwarted by Michelin tires. Immediately after the start, the Spaniard dropped from fifth to eighth place, but in the continuation he could not find the right rhythm and crossed the finish line in tenth place.
“Already at the start, the tire was spinning wildly at idle. It was as hard as a rock. Maybe it looked like I forgot how to race overnight. Usually the tire only spins like that on a dirt track or if it has 30 laps behind it laps. But that tire was brand new.”
“I tried my best to control the situation, but I was on the verge of falling at every corner. It’s a shame that the championship was decided in this way after such a good season and all the hard work. It feels like the title was stolen from me. Before Sunday’s race I was confident that I could become world champion. Now it will be very difficult.”
“It’s hard to know exactly what happened. During the warm-up there were no signs, and then I was the only rider in all three categories to whom it happened. Something was not right. After a few laps it became clear to me, that I won’t be able to drive fast enough. On Saturday I was the fastest, and the day after I was up to 1.5 seconds per lap slower than the best.”
Despite the great disappointment, Martin did not want to point the finger, but between the lines hinted at the possibility of sabotage. “I believe that Michelin did not want to tailor the outcome of the championship in such a way. At least I hope that this is the case. But it will be necessary to improve, I do not want to experience something like this again.”