The Spaniard started on pole for last Sunday’s 27-lap Phillip Island race and led for the first 13 tours before being shuffled out of the podium battle.
Martin admits he struggled under braking once he began to fight other riders, which led to him taking the checked flag in the seventh.
“Well, I was first [for a while]so I wasn’t that slow,” Martin said.
“I was managing the tires in the first part of the race, and then as soon as I started to push a little bit, I was overtaken by [Alex] Rins, who was coming on super strong.
“I was with the front group all race long, so I had the speed.
“I was missing a bit on the braking points. On the entry to the corners I didn’t have the confidence to brake harder.
“If you don’t overtake in these types of races, then you get overtaken.
“So that’s why I was 0.8s from the victory. That’s what’s killing me because if you are that close then you can win.”
Enea Bastianini, Gresini Racing
Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images
Bastianini prevented by blown airbag
Martin’s satellite Ducati counterpart Enea Bastianini ended up ahead of the Pramac rider in fifth, despite starting 15th on his Gresini-run GP21.
Bastianini dropped out of the points in the early stages after the airbag in his leathers deployed when his Ducati suffered a massive headshake coming out of the last corner.
The Italian’s recovery to fifth means his slim title hopes remain alive heading to Malaysia, though he concedes bridging a 42-point gap with just 50 on offer will be difficult.
“Starting from 15th was complicated, and the first lap was really strange because [riding] with the other guys the bike was so nervous and in the last corner my airbag exploded because I had a really big pumping,” Bastianini said.
“But lap by lap, I brought the confidence back and I came back really close to the first group.
“In the last three laps I tried to make some overtakes, but the other riders are so fast and it’s complicated to overtake all of them in two laps.
“This fifth position is ok, but I was so nervous. My chances are really, really small. But we will see. I have to continue like this, to always do my 100% and to be fast on Sundays. This is the only chance for me.”