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MotoGP points leader Martin has no answer for "strange" Spanish GP crash

MotoGP standings leader Jorge Martin says he has no obvious explanation for the "strange" crash that forced him out from the lead of the Spanish Grand Prix.

Jorge Martin, Pramac Racing

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Pramac rider Martin had seized the early advantage at the Jerez circuit on Sunday, having passed both polesitter Marc Marquez and factory Ducati rider Francesco Bagnaia in the opening two laps of the grand prix.

Circulating almost a second clear of the chasing pack led by his 2023 title rival Bagnaia on the 11th lap, Martin suddenly lost the front of his Ducati GP24 under braking for Turn 6 and hit the ground, suffering his first retirement of 2024.

The DNF shrunk his championship lead to just 17 points, as Bagnaia capitalised on the mistake to clinch his first victory since the Qatar opener and move up to second in the championship.

Speaking afterwards with the media, Martin was perplexed by a crash that came without warning while he was managing his pace at the front of the field.

"For sure [it was] a strange crash," he said. "I will look a little bit into it. I was exactly at the same speed and I braked at the same point [as previous laps].

"So it's a bit strange, we need to understand a bit more on the details.

"I was trying to be constant on that pace, 1m37.9, 38.0. It was a decent pace to keep the lead at that point of the race, trying to save a bit the rear tyre for the end. I was focused and confident.

"For sure, I didn't expect to crash in that pace because I was really early into the corner, I was really straight. We need to understand to not repeat it again."

Jorge Martin, Pramac Racing

Jorge Martin, Pramac Racing

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

He added: "Maybe there were some corners where I was risking a bit more, but corner six wasn't one of them. I was trying to be constant, I was braking always at the same point. So we need to understand where and improve for the future."

Several riders were penalised for running lower tyre pressures in Saturday's sprint, which was won by Martin.

But the Spanish rider doesn't think tyre pressure had anything to do with his crash in the grand prix, as he and Pramac continue to chase answers for the "strange" incident.

"We went a bit higher than yesterday so I was already in on the second lap. I've been in front. I think it wasn't a thing of the pressure. I still didn't understand the crash."

Martin's exit elevated Bagnaia to the lead of the race, with the factory Ducati rider resisting immense pressure from Gresini's Marquez in the final laps to take an epic win in his rival's home ground.

Bagnaia set a best time of 1m37.449s en route to his third successive MotoGP win at Jerez, having also won at the Spanish track in 2022 and '23.

Martin hinted that he wouldn't have been able to match the pace of Bagnaia had he made it to finish in the 25-lap contest.

"I saw 0.2 on the pit board and I saw he was struggling a little bit," said the 26-year-old. "But I was trying to always keep the same pace. It's not that I pushed a bit more.

"But today Pecco was, I saw afterwards at the track, he was outstanding. His pace was amazing. I didn't feel like I had [1m]37.4, maybe 37.6, 37.7. I could do it, but not 37.4, that's for sure."

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