In the absence of any MotoGP testing until March, rookie Jorge Martin has been building up his big bike experience on a Ducati Panigale V4S, at Cartagena and then this week at Almeria.

"The first impression was amazing. I’ve never been on a Superbike before, the Moto2 bike was the most powerful I had ridden before this. In Cartagena, I was impressed with the power," the new Pramac Ducati rider told the official MotoGP website.

"This is the closest thing for the moment to the Desmosedici, so I’m really thankful to Ducati for giving me this bike to train with. After three days I feel I can manage the power and I’m now trying to manage the tyres with lots of laps on them.

"The Moto2 bike is already really powerful compared to a 600, but now I’m changing the lines even more with this. You have to brake really hard and straight, then turn quickly and full-throttle whilst picking up the bike.

"This is the main thing I think, picking up the bike and getting as much power as you can through the tyre. It’s also the first time with traction control, which I’m trying to learn by myself. Every lap I’m improving my time and pace though, so I’m happy so far after four days.

"After two months without being on a road bike, it was tough. I feel it’s more physically demanding. It moves a lot, there’s no time to rest like in Moto2 but I have to get fit and ready for MotoGP."

The 22-year-old Spaniard added: "This pre-season I haven’t been injured, which is a nice change [compared to] the last three years… Super happy to be really fit in mid-January and I can’t wait to get started. I’m ready for the challenge of MotoGP."

The 2018 Moto3 champion was naturally aiming to add the Moto2 title to his CV before joining the premier-class and was within eight points of title leader Luca Marini, and tied with eventual champion Enea Bastianini, after six rounds of last season.

But a positive coronavirus test forced Martin to miss both Misano events and he eventually finished the year fifth in the standings (45 points from Bastianini) with two victories.

"My target in Moto2 was to win the Championship and I didn’t get it because of Covid, that’s for sure," Martin stated. "I was one of the strongest riders out there and every race I was battling for the podium or for victories.

"It was a pity, but I am relaxed and calm about it because I know I had the level to win it."

Martin was the first of three Moto2 riders to seal MotoGP seats with Ducati this season, an agreement being reached with the Italian factory in early June (but not made official until October).

At that time, Martin was racing for the Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto2 team, the natural progression from which would have been a premier-class place with the Austrian factory. Honda was also rumoured to be interested.

"It was difficult to decide which factory because I had good opportunities in other brands, so it was tough," Martin confirmed. "When you have the chance to go to different factory bikes, you’re super happy and thankful to all the factories for the opportunity but it’s tough to pick one because you really don’t know.

"In Ducati, I had this family crew and this passion for the bike and for the brand and this was super important for me. They have confidence in me, they’re ready to start working and I’m ready to create something special together."

Martin will be the only rookie on the GP20 Ducati, with Bastianini and Marini using GP19s at Avintia.

 

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