The podium of the sprint race in Misano featured the three candidates for the Ducati title. Jorge Martín, Pramac driver from Madrid, took out the hammer and achieved an indisputable victory ahead of Marco Bezzecchi and Pecco Bagnaia, affected, but not at all sunk after his tremendous scare and accident less than a week ago in Montmeló. Martinator closed a great Saturday after taking pole position on a circuit with good memories – here he won his Moto3 title – but where in MotoGP he had only managed to score points once, a modest ninth position in 2022.
“Nothing was convinced, but I have learned to ride the Ducati better compared to last year,” Martín explained to the DAZN microphones. The maturation of the 25-year-old driver, one of the most explosive and fastest in the premier class over one lap, has allowed him to take a step forward and make fewer mistakes. Right now he is Bagnaia’s main pursuer, who maintains a comfortable 45-point lead in the table despite the terrifying and at the same time lucky zero in the Catalunya GP last Sunday.
The defending world champion gritted his teeth and overcame the physical discomfort with a remarkable third position, which he battled in the final laps with KTM wild card Dani Pedrosa. The Spanish motorcycling legend, tester of the Mattighofen brand, once again demonstrated his class on the bike with a fifth place on the grid and a fourth position in the demanding Misano sprint. At 37 years old, the Castellar del Vallés driver once again demonstrated that his talent does not understand age and even threatened to overtake the current number one.
The first of the mortals, Pedrosa excited the fans with his beautiful fight for the podium. As in Jerez at the beginning of the season, where he already amazed with a seventh place in the sprint and a sixth position in Sunday’s race during his first wildcard of the year, the small runner was the most applauded and celebrated these days in Misano . Already on Friday, his former teammate and eight-time world champion, Marc Márquez, took advantage of his wheel to sneak straight into Q2. The one from Cervera bowed to the one from KTM both on and off the track. “I was amazed!” commented the Honda mainstay, ninth on the grid and tenth in the short race. “Following Dani is a pleasure, he goes super fast, but super smooth, he goes on rails, his lines are wonderful, clean, I have never seen someone like that drive. Being so fast, so perfect, after five years without competing at the highest level is worthy of admiration,” he stated.
The veteran protagonist had a blast on the motorcycle. “I enjoyed it, not only for the result, but for the entire weekend. “When everything goes well and you see yourself ahead, you feel great,” he celebrated. A return to the grid full-time is not considered, although given his performance the question was repeated more than once in the paddock. Does 26 regret his withdrawal? “No, not at all,” he cut right off.
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