Martin «cannot be competitive» in MotoGP Italian GP with current set-up

Championship leader Martin retired from Saturday’s sprint at Mugello while running third, losing the front-end of his GP24 into the first corner with four laps remaining.

But even before his race-ending crash, the Spaniard was losing touch with eventual sprint winner Francesco Bagnaia and second-placed Marc Marquez, both on Ducati machinery, despite his strong record in half-distance races in 2024.

While the 12 points he lost to Bagnaia in the title race were obviously costly, Martin feels a bigger point of concern was his speed on the GP24 in the sprint, which was slower than what he managed during long runs in Friday practice.

“We need to work because it seems like I use too much the front,” he said.

“After three laps I feel like the tyres already has 20 laps, so this is not good for sure like the rear is pushing.

“We need to improve the set-up for tomorrow, because with this bike I cannot be competitive. Let’s see what happens.

“Even yesterday evening I did a [1m]46.1s [lap] with really used tyres and at the end of the sprint I was in 46.4 at my 100%. So something went wrong for sure.

“And together my feeling [is] not fantastic, I don’t know [why].

“It’s something we need to solve for tomorrow because it was really difficult to turn. I saw a big difference compared to Pecco and Marc on the track.”

Jorge Martin, Pramac Racing

Jorge Martin, Pramac Racing

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Martin’s retirement on Saturday marked the first time he didn’t score a point in a sprint in 2024.

It was also his second major mistake of 2024, having previously crashed out from the Spanish GP while comfortably leading.

Similar to his Jerez incident, Martin didn’t immediately have an explanation as to why he fell off his bike going into the opening right-hander.

“I watched the data; the lap before I went wide so I braked a little bit earlier, a bit this, trying to not go wide and I crashed,” he explained.

“I don’t like when I don’t understand I crashed. Even if I look into it the temperature was okay, the pressure was okay. “

Earlier in the sprint, Martin had a run-in with Bagnaia’s factory Ducati team-mate Enea Bastianini into the same right-hander where he eventually crashed. The Italian was trying to retake third place but, after running wide, he tried to return to the racing line and hit the GP24 of Martin.

The contact sent Bastianini out of the race, while Martin was able to continue without any major issues until his own crash at the same turn later on.

Asked for his thoughts on their clash, Martin said: “With Enea he was already aggressive on the first lap. Then on corner one he went wide, and then I did the normal line to close. I felt the touch.

“I know he didn’t crash or not because I didn’t see him, but then on the television they showed. Later I have to go to race direction. I think they already studied, so I don’t think it will be any problem.”

He added: “I did a normal line, he run wide. It would have been avoided if he didn’t come again to the line without looking.

“I was lucky that he crashed and I didn’t.”

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