Australian MotoGP: Jorge Martin: I was calm when I didn’t have Marc Marquez behind! | MotoGP

The Pramac Ducati rider converted pole position into an early advantage, keeping Marc Marquez and Alex Rins at bay until lap 14 of 27, when he was pushed back to fifth.

The #89 fought his way back up the order several times, becoming embroiled in more close passes with Marquez, but eventually found himself on the wrong end of the closest top seven in history.

“I was managing the tires in the first part of the race, and then as soon as I was starting to push a little bit, I was overtaken by Rins, who was coming super strong,” Martin said.

“I was with the front group all the race. So I had the speed, but I was missing a bit the braking point. The entry into the corners, I didn’t have the confidence to brake harder.

“If you don’t overtake in these kind of races, you get overtaken. So that’s why I was 0.8 from the victory. That’s what was killing me today. Because if you are that close, you can also win. But it’s like this and I hope to improve on this for Malaysia.”

Others at the lower end of the front group, such as Aleix Espargaro (ninth) and Luca Marini (sixth), felt their traction control settings had been too conservative in the closing stages. Martin also believes he had more rear tires to use.

“Half of the race I was quite OK, but maybe in the last part, we were a bit on the safe side,” Martin said. “We need to understand, so myself, to use more the rear tire because normally I save too much. And then I finish the race and I could have used the tires more.

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“I could see that other bikes, also other Ducatis, were accelerating better than Marini or me. So maybe the engine, or I don’t know. We need to work on it and find something.”

Martin: ‘I was calm when I didn’t have Marquez behind!’

Of the riders Martin fought with on Sunday, Marc Marquez – who went on to claim his first podium of the season with second place behind Rins – was the one that caused him the most difficulties.

“I was calm when I didn’t have Marquez behind!” hey smiled “Because it was three times that he overtook me and put me [wide]so I wasn’t just losing one position, but two.

“That’s racing, I need to improve, also to be more aggressive, because it’s the only way actually to be fighting for a victory or podium.”

Asked if he thought Marquez’s passes had been a bit too strong, Martin replied:

“Well… there were some points where it was on the limit, that’s for sure, because I was already on the inside and I was losing another position. That’s why I was tired about those maneuvers. I will just try to be as aggressive as the rest for the future.”

Martin starts the penultimate round of the season at Sepang this weekend ninth in the world championship, one point behind Rins.

Teammate Johann Zarco fought back from a bad start to finish in eighth.