Well, folks, Round 10 of MotoGP has just concluded – and as expected, the Styrian GP gave our boys a run for their money.
The competence of the course wasn’t lost on Motul-powered Team Suzuki and Pramac Racing, the latter of which secured their maiden victory after grinding for 20 years at the twisties, thanks to the elbow grease of well-loved racer Jorge Martin.
MotoGP rookie Jorge Martin stole a well-deserved win from Team Suzuki Joan Mir on Sunday. The young racer has been out of commission for 4 races after sustaining an injury, though it appears the healing phase did him good.
Martin claimed a pole position on the weekend, giving the crowds a dominant performance that also saw a battle with Joan Mir and an early red flag that tested his composure – a test that he passed with flying colors.
Since Pramac Racing has been using Motul, they have claimed six podium finishes – a number not lost on the team in red.
Team Suzuki has also given the crowds an amazing performance, with 2020 World Champion Joan Mir finishing short by a scant 1.5 seconds behind Jorge Martin. Despite this, the rider was able to put up an excellent fight on his Suzuki GSX-RR, putting Motul’s latest lubricant technology to good use.
Here are the two teams’ qualifying results, as well as the race results of the weekend:
P1 (1:22.994): Jorge Martin, #89 Pramac Racing Ducati Desmosedici
P6 (1:23.376): Johann Zarco, #5 Pramac Racing Ducati Desmosedici
P5 (1:23.322): Joan Mir, #36 Team Suzuki Ecstar Suzuki GSX-RR
P13 (1:23.585): Alex Rins, #42 Team Suzuki Ecstar Suzuki GSX-RR
P1: Jorge martin, #89 Pramac Racing Ducati Desmosedici
P6: Johann Zarco, #5 Pramac Racing Ducati Desmosedici
P2: Joan Mir, #36 Team Suzuki Ecstar Suzuki GSX-RR
P7: Alex Rins, #42 Team Suzuki Ecstar Suzuki GSX-RR
The annual FIM Awards ceremony brought the curtain down on a spectacular weekend in Andorra, where more than 100 national motorcycling federations gathered to celebrate their communal values of courage, excellence and commitment.
At the crowning ceremony were some of the biggest names in two-wheeled sport, from record-breaking five-time FIM MotoGP World Champion Marc Marquéz to 14-year-old FIM 85cc Junior Motocross World Champion Caden Braswell – the youngest gold medal recipient of 2018.
Australians recognised at this year’s FIM Award Night included the 2018 ISDE Championship winning teams, with Daniel Milner, Daniel Sanders, Lyndon Snodgrass, and Joshua Strang claiming the World Trophy, and Jessica Gardiner, Tayla Jones and Mackenzie Tricker claiming the Women’s World Trophy title.
Bailey Malkiewicz (Yamaha) also won the FIM 125cc Junior Motocross World Championship on home soil in Australia, while Josh Hook was a part of the F.C.C. TSR EWC World Championship winning team.
Toby Price was also recognised for his victory in the Cross-Countries Rally Championship.
Marquez is no stranger to the gala, winning five of the last six premier class crowns, and the Spaniard is now the youngest ever seven-time World Champion – adding another well-earned medal to the cabinet in 2018.
“It’s amazing to be here with everyone, I want to congratulate all these Champions. If we’re here we had a great season. And thanks to the team and all those kind of things, now back to the party! Try to enjoy it!”
Marquez was joined at the gala by 2018 Moto2 World Champion Francesco Bagnaia after his impressive year, and another record breaker in the form of Moto3 World Champion Jorge Martin.
Raul Fernandez was also present to pick up his award for winning the FIM CEV Repsol Moto3 Junior World Championship ahead of his full-time debut in Moto3 on the world stage next season, having impressed to wrap up the crown ahead of the final weekend at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo in Valencia.
“I’ve been waiting for this moment for a long time and finally I reached it! And I want to thank the Team, Sky, the Academy, my family, my girlfriend and friends…and next year for sure I have my next objective and I’m really looking forward to it.”
“It means a lot to me, I want to thank my family and team and all the people who support me. I want to congratulate all the Champions because they know how difficult it is to be here – and I’ll work hard to be back here in the next few years!”
History-maker and 2018 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Champion Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) collected his medal – for the fourth time in a row – and was joined by FIM Supersport World Champion Sandro Cortese (Kallio Racing) who took the title in his rookie season in the final round at Losail International Circuit.
One of the most notable champions attending the awards was FIM Supersport 300 World Champion Ana Carrasco (DS Junior Team), who became the first solo female to win a world title, crowned in dramatic style at Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours.
Jonathan Rea – Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK
“Once again I’ve been incredibly proud to accept my FIM World Championship medal in front of all the other champions from various disciplines. It truly is the moment when what we have achieved starts to sink in. I want to thank all my team at KRT for all their support, my family and friends for their support.”
As well as officially crowning over fifty FIM World Champions from the 2018 motorcycling season, five equally important FIM Awards were also bestowed on individuals and organisations for their contributions to motorcycling ‘Beyond Sport’.
The FIM Women in Motorcycling Award was collected by Macrocampus, an event organised by the RFME Women’s Commission of Motorcycling at the famous MotorLand Circuit in Aragón.
The winner of the FIM Fair Play Trophy was Sebastien VanBaelen, a Belgian Enduro rider who came to the aid of a stricken competitor in l’Enduropale du Touquet, in France, while the FIM Environment Award went to Sky Ocean Rescue in Italy.
Meanwhile, Michael Woodford MBE picked up the FIM Road Safety and Public Policy Award for his road safety campaigning and important work regarding ‘Automatic Headlight On’ technology, while the first ever winners of the FIM Award for the Future were Dorna Sports for their investment in and commitment to various rookies’ series, in collaboration with the FIM National Federations and Continental Unions.
Carmelo Ezpeleta – Dorna CEO
“Thanks to the FIM and those who decided to give us this award. It is now 27 seasons we’ve been working with the FIM, with the national federations, with all the clubs. Special thanks to all the riders who have permitted us to grow during this time. From the beginning we thought it was important to create new strategies for people who maybe, without this programme, might not be able to participate. I’ve very proud to receive it in the name of Dorna, in the name of all the people who work at Dorna. And to receive this from Giacomo (Agostini), it’s an incredible honour for us to receive this from him.”
The list of names treading the red carpet included a prestigious line-up of prize givers, who handed over the honours to the World Champions and award recipients.
FIM Legend and fifteen-time FIM Circuit Racing World Champion Giacomo Agostini was joined by FIM legend and former Grand Prix motorcycle road racer, Pentti Korhonen and legendary former alpine skier turned racing driver and keen motorcyclist Luc Alphand.
Triumph engines have fired up Moto2 in Andalucia as the intermediate class test at Jerez. Early drama as reigning Moto3 World Champion Jorge Martin crashes and breaks his leg.
Lorenzo Baldassarri (Pons HP 40) topped the first day of Moto2 testing for 2019 at the Circuito de Jerez-Angel Nieto. A 1m42.203 from Baldassarri in the final session of the day saw the Italian beat compatriot Luca Marini (Sky Racing Team VR46) to the top of the timesheets.
The test signals the beginning of a new era not only for the rookies like Martin, but also of Triumph power – as well as some updates in the technical regulations. It’s off to a good start, with Baldassarri getting within three-tenths of his 2018 pole lap at the track.
Behind Baldassarri and Marini, the man in third was another man with a good record at the track: Sam Lowes, as he returns to the Federal Oil Gresini Moto2 squad for season 2019.
Moto2 riders completed four sessions throughout the day, with conditions improving in the afternoon after overnight rain had seen a damp start to proceedings. At the end of Day 1, Pons HP40’s Augusto Fernandez was fourth fastest, with Remy Gardner (SAG Team) rounding out the top five – 0.533 off the top.
Gardner had missed the Jerez race earlier this season after breaking both legs in a motocross training accident so we can’t compare his times at the circuit on the Tech3 machine he rode this season in comparison to the SAG machine he was on for this test and will race for season 2019. Tech3 used their own chassis in 2018 but is adopting a KTM chassis for their 2019 Moto2 assault while Gardner will be on the more dominant Kalex chassis in 2019.
Reigning Moto3 World Champion and Moto2 rookie Jorge Martin crashed and was left with a left humerus fracture and some broken bones in his foot. His first taste of the category cut short for now. Martin did make a solid impression however and was inside the top 15.
The fastest rookie was Nicolo Bulega (SKY Racing Team VR46), the Italian setting the seventh quickest time of the day to finish 0.566 from P1 – a great debut for the number 11 rider.
Jorge Martin was next quickest rookie, in P15, with Fabio Di Giannantonio (Speed Up Racing) P18 on the times. He was just ahead of fellow rookie Enea Bastianini (Italtrans Racing Team).
Elsewhere, Jake Dixon’s (Angel Nieto Team) Moto2 debut ended with the British rider setting a quickest time of 1:44.401, 2.198-seconds off Baldassarri’s benchmark, the Briton finishing one place ahead of Moto3 graduate Marco Bezzecchi (Red Bull KTM Tech 3) – P25 and P26 respectively for the pair as they settle in.
Dixon was a close runner-up to Leon Haslam in the British Superbike Championship this season and the 22-year-old Briton is a big hope for the future amongst English fans.
Jake Dixon – P25
“It has been a good first day, which we spent learning the bike and how everything works, from the team to the tyres, which is all new to me. I had a good feeling from the first run and I was able to enjoy myself on the KTM. I am looking forward to the next two days of testing here at Jerez and to continuing to learn with the team before the first race.”
Marco Bezzecchi – P26
“This start has been quite good. We worked a lot on the bike because in the beginning the riding position and the balance of the machine were far from now. In the end, we went better and better. Unfortunately the track temperature dropped a lot when we just found our best condition of the day, but anyway, we discovered many important things for tomorrow. I know that I have to improve my riding style a lot, but overall it has been good.”
Moto2 riders will be back out on track on Saturday as they continue their adaptation to the Triumph engine.
Jorge Martin (Del Conca Gresini Moto3) is the 2018 Moto3 World Champion, taking the title at Sepang after a stunning season. Seven wins, nine podiums and 11 poles saw Martin a frontrunner throughout the season, and the Spaniard weathered the ups and downs of a tense year of competition to come out on top against key rivals Marco Bezzecchi (Redox PruestelGP) and Fabio Di Giannantonio (Del Conca Gresini Moto3).
Jorge Martin – 2018 Moto3 World Champion
“My whole life passed through my very own eyes. I come from a humble family and it wasn’t easy to get here where we are now. I would like to thank everyone who supported me and helped me grow: from the “Cuna de Campeones” to the rookies cup to obviously Gresini Racing. I saw this title almost slipping off my hands in Thailand when I thought I wouldn’t have raced, but we did and I wanna thank everyone, including my rivals. To be winning the title and taking the race win at the same time is probably the best thing in the world, so thank you once again!”
Martin made his debut on the world stage in 2015 with Mapfre Mahindra, moving up after taking the Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup. He scored his first point in the season opener in Qatar and became a regular top 15 contender, ending his rookie year in 17th overall. The following season, the rider from Madrid took another step forward – including his first podium in the wet at Brno – but he also missed a couple of races through injury, therefore ending the season just one place further forward in 16th overall.
2017 saw Martin cement his place at the front as he moved to Del Conca Gresini Moto3, beginning the year on the podium in third at Qatar. He took nine pole positions and eight further podiums that season – but it was a long wait for one to be a maiden win. The Spaniard wrapped that up in the season finale at Valencia; his first trip to the top step setting him up perfectly for an assault on the crown the following year and seeing him take fourth overall in the standings.
2018 began perfectly as Martin won in Qatar, but Argentina was a tougher race in tougher conditions and he could only manage P11. That was when the man who would push him the most this season – Marco Bezzechhi – took his first win, and a classic rivalry was born. Austin saw Martin back on the top step before two more difficult races and DNFs in Jerez and Le Mans, both seeing the Spaniard victim to serious bad luck at the hands of Aron Canet (Estrella Galicia 0,0) and Bezzecchi…
Mugello was a win before a zero in Catalunya, but Martin then took back-to-back wins in Assen and Germany to lead the standings once again. Then, however, disaster struck as the Spaniard broke his left wrist in FP1 at Brno. Operated on and forced to forfeit the round, it was an upset to the Spaniard’s charge.
Back on track in Austria, it was a weekend for Martin to clench his teeth and dig deep, which he did in stunning style to take an emotional podium. In Misano Bezzecchi then faltered and crashed, but Martin could only gain the 20 points for second. Aragon was Martin back on full power at the front for a home win, and the first of the flyaway races in Thailand gave him more of an advantage as Bezzecchi was crashed out and Martin took fourth despite some struggles with his recovery. Motegi then saw the pendulum swing again as Martin crashed in the leading group – and Bezzecchi closed back in with a win.
Phillip Island was yet more drama. This time Bezzecchi was back on the receiving end of the bad luck as he was hit by another rider, and Martin took some good points although he couldn’t take the win, coming home fourth. That was enough to give him his first match point next time out at Sepang, however, with Martin 12 points clear before the race in Malaysia – and 20 points clear of Di Giannantonio.
After another incredible race, Martin fought it out before pulling the pin to perfection and Bezzecchi was left to battle to try and keep his hopes alive. As Martin crossed the line first for another win, it all went down to the final corner but Bezzecchi couldn’t quite make it through into that crucial fourth place – making Martin the 2018 Moto3 World Champion.
Fausto Gresini – Team Manager
“I was not expecting to win the championship here. It has been a tough race, so it’s twice as rewarding to win it here. Seven years ago we lost Marco here, so I would like to dedicate this title to him. Everyone in the team has been incredible. We are World Champions by getting the most pole positions and race wins and by winning both team and riders’ classifications. It has been a perfect season, and we could still wrap it up with Diggia’s second place!”
Statistics: Jorge Martin
• Jorge Martín is the third Spanish rider to win a Moto3 title after Maverick Viñales (2013), Álex Márquez (2014) and Joan Mir (2017).
• Martín is the 13th different Spanish rider to clinch to title in the lightweight category. In addition, Martín’s title is the 19th in the lightweight category for Spanish riders and 50th in Grand Prix racing.
• At 20 years and 279 days old, Martín is the fourth-youngest rider to clinch the Moto3 world title after Álex Márquez (18 years 200 days old), Maverick Viñales (18 years 302 days old) and Joan Mir (20 years 51 days old).
• Martín has won seven races so far this season, equaling Luis Salom (2013) and Brad Binder in 2016 in the Moto3™ class.
• Martín has won eight races in his career so far, equalling Maverick Viñales, Alex Rins and Danny Kent in fourth place on the list of riders with most wins in the Moto3 class since 2012.
• Martín has stood on the podium nine times this season so far and 19 in the Moto3 class, one less than Luis Salom and Brad Binder, who both stand in fifth place on the list of riders with most podium finishes in the class.
• With 19 podium finishes, Martín is now in fourth place on the list of Spanish riders with most podium finishes in the Moto3 class after Álex Rins (23), Maverick Viñales (22) and Luis Salom (20).
• This is the fourth successive year that a rider who comes from the Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup has won the world title, after Brad Binder, Danny Kent and Joan Mir.
• Martín became the second rider to clinch a Grand Prix world title after winning the Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup, along with Johann Zarco (2008).
• Jorge Martín has qualified on pole position 20 times in Moto3, a record in the class. His closest rival is Álex Rins with 13, followed by Enea Bastianini with 9. In addition, he took pole five times in a row from Jerez to Assen in 2017, a record streak in the Moto3 class.
• This is the fourth time that a Honda rider has won the Moto3 world title, adding to the championships won by Álex Marquez (2014), Danny Kent (2015) and Joan Mir (2017).
• Martín (186) belongs to the list of four riders who have led more than 150 laps since the introduction of the Moto3 class in 2012, along with Romano Fenati (265), Maverick Viñales (234) and Álex Rins (173).