Jorge Martin (Del Conca Gresini Moto3) is the 2018 Moto3™ World Champion, taking the title at Sepang after a stunning season. Seven wins, nine podiums and 11 poles saw Martin a frontrunner throughout the season, and the Spaniard weathered the ups and downs of a tense year of competition to come out on top against key rivals Marco Bezzecchi (Redox PruestelGP) and Fabio Di Giannantonio (Del Conca Gresini Moto3).
Martin made his debut on the world stage in 2015 with Mapfre Mahindra, moving up after taking the Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup. He scored his first point in the season opener in Qatar and became a regular top 15 contender, ending his rookie year in 17th overall. The following season, the rider from Madrid took another step forward – including his first podium in the wet at Brno – but he also missed a couple of races through injury, therefore ending the season just one place further forward in 16th overall.
2017 saw Martin cement his place at the front as he moved to Del Conca Gresini Moto3, beginning the year on the podium in third at Qatar. He took nine pole positions and eight further podiums that season – but it was a long wait for one to be a maiden win. The Spaniard wrapped that up in the season finale at Valencia; his first trip to the top step setting him up perfectly for an assault on the crown the following year and seeing him take fourth overall in the standings.
2018 began perfectly as Martin won in Qatar, but Argentina was a tougher race in tougher conditions and he could only manage P11. That was when the man who would push him the most this season – Marco Bezzechhi – took his first win, and a classic rivalry was born. Austin saw Martin back on the top step before two more difficult races and DNFs in Jerez and Le Mans, both seeing the Spaniard victim to serious bad luck at the hands of Aron Canet (Estrella Galicia 0,0) and Bezzecchi…
Mugello was a win before a zero in Catalunya, but Martin then took back-to-back wins in Assen and Germany to lead the standings once again. Then, however, disaster struck as the Spaniard broke his left wrist in FP1 at Brno. Operated on and forced to forfeit the round, it was an upset to the Spaniard’s charge.
Back on track in Austria, it was a weekend for Martin to clench his teeth and dig deep, which he did in stunning style to take an emotional podium. In Misano Bezzecchi then faltered and crashed, but Martin could only gain the 20 points for second. Aragon was Martin back on full power at the front for a home win, and the first of the flyaway races in Thailand gave him more of an advantage as Bezzecchi was crashed out and Martin took fourth despite some struggles with his recovery. Motegi then saw the pendulum swing again as Martin crashed in the leading group – and Bezzecchi closed back in with a win.
Phillip Island was yet more drama. This time Bezzecchi was back on the receiving end of the bad luck as he was hit by another rider, and Martin took some good points although he couldn’t take the win, coming home fourth. That was enough to give him his first match point next time out at Sepang, however, with Martin 12 points clear before the race in Malaysia – and 20 points clear of Di Giannantonio.
After another incredible race, Martin fought it out before pulling the pin to perfection and Bezzecchi was left to battle to try and keep his hopes alive. As Martin crossed the line first for another win, it all went down to the final corner but Bezzecchi couldn’t quite make it through into that crucial fourth place – making Martin the 2018 Moto3™ World Champion.
Statistics: Jorge Martin
• Jorge Martín is the third Spanish rider to win a Moto3™ title after Maverick Viñales (2013), Álex Márquez (2014) and Joan Mir (2017).
• Martín is the 13th different Spanish rider to clinch to title in the lightweight category. In addition, Martín’s title is the 19th in the lightweight category for Spanish riders and 50th in Grand Prix racing.
• At 20 years and 279 days old, Martín is the fourth-youngest rider to clinch the Moto3™ world title after Álex Márquez (18 years 200 days old), Maverick Viñales (18 years 302 days old) and Joan Mir (20 years 51 days old).
• Martín has won seven races so far this season, equaling Luis Salom (2013) and Brad Binder in 2016 in the Moto3™ class.
• Martín has won eight races in his career so far, equalling Maverick Viñales, Alex Rins and Danny Kent in fourth place on the list of riders with most wins in the Moto3™ class since 2012.
• Martín has stood on the podium nine times this season so far and 19 in the Moto3™ class, one less than Luis Salom and Brad Binder, who both stand in fifth place on the list of riders with most podium finishes in the class.
• With 19 podium finishes, Martín is now in fourth place on the list of Spanish riders with most podium finishes in the Moto3™ class after Álex Rins (23), Maverick Viñales (22) and Luis Salom (20).
• This is the fourth successive year that a rider who comes from the Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup has won the world title, after Brad Binder, Danny Kent and Joan Mir.
• Martín became the second rider to clinch a Grand Prix world title after winning the Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup, along with Johann Zarco (2008).
• Jorge Martín has qualified on pole position 20 times in Moto3™, a record in the class. His closest rival is Álex Rins with 13, followed by Enea Bastianini with 9. In addition, he took pole five times in a row from Jerez to Assen in 2017, a record streak in the Moto3™ class.
• This is the fourth time that a Honda rider has won the Moto3™ world title, adding to the championships won by Álex Marquez (2014), Danny Kent (2015) and Joan Mir (2017).
• Martín (186) belongs to the list of four riders who have led more than 150 laps since the introduction of the Moto3™ class in 2012, along with Romano Fenati (265), Maverick Viñales (234) and Álex Rins (173).
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