Here's Why Jorge Martin Is Worried For The Thai Grand Prix Race
Published: 27th October 2023
Although leading both Friday sessions at Buriram and feeling well-prepared for the Sprint, Jorge Martin is worried about Sunday’s race.
On Friday afternoon, Jorge Martin, the World Championship runner-up, showcased his speed by setting the fastest time in both Practice sessions.
However, his impressive performance was marred by a crash in turn 3 during his final flying lap. When questioned about the late crash, Martin brushed it off:
“Of course, I wanted to improve a bit because you never know if you are inside or outside [the top 10] because we are all so close together here.”
“But I saw the data, and I was actually slower there. I think maybe I hit a bump or something; I need to understand it better on the track tomorrow so it doesn’t happen again. But I wasn’t at the limit.”
The day highlighted the remarkable parity among the riders, with the top 10 separated by only three tenths of a second. Martin’s dominance extended to FP1 and the afternoon practice sessions, topping Friday sessions.
He pointed out that leading in the morning with fresh tires was relatively straightforward: “In the afternoon, I was very competitive with the used tires from the morning. Because everyone then used new tires, and I was on used ones and still in the top 5 or top 6.”
“That’s good for Saturday and Sunday. On this track in Buriram, the tires wear out quickly both front and rear, so it will be difficult to understand for Sunday. But it’s the same for everyone.”.
Discussing the Chang International Circuit’s track conditions, Martin highlighted the morning’s dirtiness and the sweltering afternoon heat, which adversely affected grip.
“I feel better prepared for the sprint than for Sunday,” he explained. “I think Sunday will be a very long race. Coming here with the feeling I had from Phillip Island, it’s not easy to see that the tires have a big drop.”
“Hopefully, we make the right decision and understand what my opponents are doing to adopt a similar strategy.”
His apprehension stemmed from the rapid tire degradation witnessed at Buriram and his previous experience at Phillip Island, where his strategic choice of a soft rear tire led to a disappointing drop from first to fifth place on the final lap.