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MotoGP Americas GP

“Really weak” Martin surprised to lead Friday COTA MotoGP practice

Pramac Ducati rider Jorge Martin says he felt “really weak” in MotoGP Americas Grand Prix practice as he battles illness and didn’t expect to end Friday fastest.

Jorge Martin, Pramac Racing

Last year’s Americas GP poleman arrived in Austin feeling unwell and has been on antibiotics to fight the virus that has struck him down.

Despite this, Martin ended Friday’s running at the Circuit of the Americas fastest of all with a 2m02.178s to edge ahead of reigning world champion Francesco Bagnaia by 0.063 seconds.

 The Pramac rider admitted “I don’t know how” he managed that lap given his physical conditions.

“Still I feel really weak,” Martin said. “In the morning it wasn’t that bad… well, actually, it was bad.

“The morning was bad, but the afternoon was super bad. I felt really weak. After two laps I’m already without strength. In the last part of the practice, we could manage it in a good way, making not a super long run and I did a 2m03.8s on used tyres, which is good.

“And the time attack, actually I don’t how I did it, I had the confidence at that point, I was fast and I finished the lap. So, I’m happy about that.”

Jorge Martin, Pramac Racing

Jorge Martin, Pramac Racing

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Though ending Friday at COTA with the best single-lap pace, Martin says Pramac is still yet to find the best route to go with bike set-up and feels like he is “still far away” from being able to fight for race wins this weekend.

“We still don’t have the right direction,” he said of the 2023 Ducati he is riding. “We tried to put more weight on the front, trying to have better handling but it didn’t work; in braking I was struggling a lot.

“We went back to our base set-up and it was good, so maybe we will go in that direction tomorrow [Saturday] morning. We need something still to fight for the victory, I feel we are still far away.

“But with small steps the feeling changed a lot on the rear, so. I feel if we go in that direction I will be more competitive.”

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