Jorge Martin has pledged no more “gambles”, beginning with the Thailand MotoGP this weekend, after two ruinous races saw the Spaniard fall behind Francesco Bagnaia in the championship fight.
Martin took a chance with a soft rear tyre in Australia last weekend and it backfired spectacularly.
The Pramac ace led from the start at Phillip Island until his deteriorating rear rubber allowed four riders on a harder compound, including Bagnaia who finished second, to swoop past on a dramatic final lap as the Spaniard slumped to fifth behind winner Johann Zarco.
“For sure, from now on, I won’t take any gambles,” said Martin.
“We have to go at least with the same tyre as our opponents. I have learned that when you are fighting for a world championship, you have to fight with the same weapons as your rivals.”
The tyre blunder came just a week after Martin, who was then top of the standings, crashed while leading the Indonesian MotoGP to gift Bagnaia a sixth victory of 2023 and an 18-point lead in the championship.
The Italian stretched that to 27 points in Australia with four races of the 20-leg season to go.
It leaves Bagnaia in pole position to retain his title as the riders head to the Buriram International Circuit.
“Absolutely. But feet on the ground,” cautioned Bagnaia after being asked whether Australia had been good for his championship defence.
“We know how things can change. I was 66 points gap after the Barcelona (sprint) and we lost the leadership in a moment,” added the factory Ducati rider.
“So, it’s very easy to start having problems.”
Fabio Di Giannantonio took a maiden podium by finishing third at Phillip Island.
It gained welcome points for the 25-year-old Italian who is trying to save his MotoGP career, having found out 10 days earlier that he had been replaced at Gresini Ducati for 2024 by former world champion Marc Marquez.
“The thing is, sometimes you just need to be patient. You need to, not be lucky, but be in the right place at the right time,” said the rider dubbed “Digi”, who is now looking for a new seat for next season.
“It happened so fast the thing with Marc and maybe without a bit more patience and without this thing, everything could have been a bit easier.
“Sometimes you just need time. Rome is not built in one day.”
Last year’s race in Thailand saw Bagnaia finish third in treacherous conditions after the start was delayed almost an hour by heavy rain. Martin came home ninth.
Rain could again play a part with a chance of thunderstorms on Saturday afternoon, when the 13-lap sprint will take place, and again on Sunday for the 26-lap grand prix around the 4.554km Buriram International Circuit.