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Martin: Bagnaia still MotoGP title favourite in 2024 but fight is wide open

MotoGP championship leader Jorge Martin believes Francesco Bagnaia is still “the favourite” for the 2024 title despite trailing the Spaniard by 30 points after the first three rounds.

Francesco Bagnaia, Ducati Team

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Martin’s 100% podium finish record in 2024 came to an end last Sunday at the Americas Grand Prix when he was overtaken for third by Ducati’s Enea Bastianini on the penultimate lap.

While the Pramac rider’s lead was cut, he still holds a 21-point lead over Bastianini heading to next week’s Spanish Grand Prix.

Reigning double world champion Bagnaia won the Qatar GP but missed the sprint podium in Portugal due to a mistake while leading before a collision took him out of that GP.

And in Austin, Bagnaia struggled for grip on his way to sixth in the sprint and battled chatter issues in the GP to only come away with fifth to trail Martin by 30 points.

Despite this, Martin believes Bagnaia is still the favourite for this year’s championship but believes the fight is much more open than it was in 2023.

“I don’t know, I think there are a lot of riders who can be fighting for the championship,” he said.

“I think still Pecco is the favourite because he won last season, he is the number one.

Jorge Martin, Pramac Racing

Jorge Martin, Pramac Racing

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

“So, now we just need to be… I mean, the rivals are strong. We have Marc [Marquez], we have even Pedro [Acosta], who is really, really good and constant.

“So, we never know. Enea was super strong all weekend. The important thing is we are fast everywhere, and we need to be focused on that.”

In a threatening position to take command early in the championship after the opening rounds, Martin stresses that this is of little concern to him right now.

“For sure, I don’t look at the moment to that,” he said of his position in the standings.

“I don’t like to think about that. But the points we are doing are for this reason. I am happy about that.

“I am happy that we have 80 points already, it’s quite a lot.

“I think we have to be happy and keep this line, or this way, because we are working quite well and focusing on ourselves and improving the results from last season.

“This is a track where I struggled on in the past and this weekend we got quite a lot of points, and for sure it’s better to be in the lead than 10th.”

Watch: MotoGP: Vinales recovers from 11th to win | 2024 #AmericasGP

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