Jorge Martín, the boy who got used to living on the edge, caresses for the leadership of the MotoGP World Championship | Motorcycling | Sports
Jorge Martín Almoguera (San Sebastián de los Reyes, 25 years old) sees his lifelong dream closer than ever. with a new pole position record and an incontestable victory in the race sprint in the Japanese GP, this Sunday he aspires to take the lead in the MotoGP World Championship with an unofficial Ducati. He focuses on the “race by race” that has led him to overcome 54 points in four grands prix from the current champion and leader of the competition, the Italian Pecco Bagnaia. The number one and benchmark of the Bologna brand, who will start second this Sunday (at 8:00 a.m., DAZN), is only eight points ahead and knows how his great rival spends it.
“I find it hard to believe that Jorge is not thinking about the title, it is very difficult to achieve it. When you see something so far away and then you see that it is within your reach…,” Susana Almoguera, the boy’s mother, tells EL PAÍS. Martín’s dream is the dream of an entire family of workers. “We have all sacrificed a lot for this. Everything we earned went to the motorcycles. We forgot about vacations so we could pay for his tires,” she recalls. His eldest son inherited his passion for motorcycles from his father Ángel, who has accompanied him to all corners of the world since he was little. His father, an amateur pilot, had several issues of the magazine stacked up. Motorcycling at home that the little one devoured before going to bed every night.
The soundtrack of the weekends was the motorcycles rolling in Jarama. The family home bordered the Madrid circuit, although the little boy’s sporting career was forged in the birthplaces of Valencia and Catalonia. “But is it good, Ángel?” Susana asked her husband. “He is very good, the best,” he replied. There were many times when little Jorge was more outside than inside despite his talent. That time when they were asked for 200,000 euros to continue competing, or when the parents were unemployed and only victory could pay for their son’s career. She learned to live on the edge Jorge, immune to the pressure of winning in order to continue with his life project. “I think that in the most difficult moments is where it is most noticeable. “Keeping fighting, never giving up, that’s how it has been all my life,” he recalled in an interview with this newspaper.
The title in Rookies Cup in 2014, the main launcher to the World Championship, was not enough to convince KTM and make the jump to Moto3. A miracle, another chain of favors, made Albert Valera, representative of Jorge Lorenzo and Aleix Espargaró, notice him and get him a place in Jorge Martínez Aspar’s team. With a technically inferior motorcycle, Martín learned to overcome the technical deficiencies of his machinery from his first steps in the World Championship. On that team he coincided precisely with Bagnaia for two seasons. Both won their first title on the same day, during the 2018 Malaysian GP. Jorge did it with Gresini in Moto3, Pecco with Valentino Rossi’s Sky in Moto2. From their time as bunkmates who hung out on the video game console until today, they have always maintained a good relationship. “Jorge is in his best moment, but we must remain calm,” acknowledges the Turin native.
Last year, Martín did not have the same weapons to fight. “Come on, this motorcycle really turns!” These were his first words after testing the 2023 Ducati that has allowed him to unleash his full potential. The motorcycle, although it does not wear the official colors, has the same performance as the number one under contract. “He has always been a talented driver, but this year he has improved, he has honed all that potential that he always had,” points out Gino Borsoi, team manager of Prima Pramac Racing. The Madrid native’s ambition was to be Bagnaia’s teammate in the official squad, which finally decided to promote Enea Bastianini to the position of honor. The initial frustration soon transformed into an iron resolve to make history with the satellite motorcycle, a situation that could ultimately benefit him.
“Of course, a team that you know perfectly and believes in you is a better environment. It must also be said, there is less pressure here,” says the former Italian driver. In any case, the pressure is put on Martín himself: “If I didn’t want the championship I wouldn’t be here, and if I don’t think about it, neither will anyone else.” Since the San Marino GP, the Spaniard has amassed 81 points out of a possible 86 to reduce a gap that reached 66 points with the championship leader. His team never stops marveling, and Ducati wonders if they were wrong with his decision. This year, in his third season in the premier class, he has won five sprint races, two long races and has been on the podium four other times on Sundays.
Martinator inside the circuit – a nickname his father gave him due to the countless irons, nails and plates that his son accumulates in his body due to injuries and his ability to print a mechanical rhythm –, outside of it Jorge is a “ “normal guy” and “very familiar.” This is how his mother and also his team leader define him. When he went to school and began to stand out, he did not want praise and dedicated himself to taking down the posters that were made to congratulate him on the umpteenth victory in the birthplace of the World Cup. “Mom, don’t say anything because then they put things up and they don’t stop asking!” He wanted to be one more.
A restless ass since he was little, Martín doesn’t know how to stop. “We would have to find out where the battery is, because it is inexhaustible, a bug,” confesses Borsoi. When he was little he would leave the motorcycle and get on the skate, and when he got tired he would go for the bicycle. “Jorge is something different from the person you see on television every weekend. He is a restless person, very funny and kind. He may give the impression that sometimes he is distracted, but it is more because of the nerves of the weekend and the special moment that he is experiencing. Right now he is a person very focused on his work, he tries to live within a bubble to give his best every weekend,” analyzes the head of Pramac.
In the midst of the demanding World Cup schedule, and with the title red hot, Martín will take a break next week by traveling to Bali (Indonesia) to disconnect and surf. When he plugs into racing mode again he will have six grands prix ahead of him to make history and become the first rider to take the crown with a satellite bike in the MotoGP era.
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