By midmorning it was not even clear to me if I could form on the starting grid of the Thai Grand Prix. Jorge Martín, leader of Moto3, dominated the season with a fast lap (eight poles, six victories), but also to overcome very hard races in which he knew how to endure the pain. The pain of that foot that was hit at the beginning of the course after an accident-the same foot that had fractured the last course-or the pain in the wrist after that tremendous fall in Brno -fracture of the distal radius. That last injury, which has not been fully recovered in full competition as it is for the championship, is what has taken him down the street of bitterness this weekend in Buriram. But it surprised again. And he finished fourth despite running, practically, with one hand. And it is not a saying.
The problems began this Saturday, when the physiotherapy treatment that has been practiced to improve the condition of his left wrist left him with that hand completely nullified. "He has developed neuritis," Dr. Angel Charte conceded. Neuritis is an inflammation of the nerves that causes muscular atrophy; Martin is prevented from moving well and controlling his hand. This was explained by the same driver, in statements to Movistar MotoGP: "I am bad, especially psychologically. I was recovering in the clinic, I was feeling very well, I had no pain, but we put pressure on a nerve that we should not have and it has inflamed me. "
He left the circuit late Saturday. He and his team were looking for a solution. He is the leader of the World Cup and, after losing an injury, the Brno race could no longer yield more points, which the rivals press. At seven in the afternoon Martin was still working with his people; and thanks to the ingenuity of the pilot's father, they were able to craft a glove with a special system that helps them control their hand. A bionic hand for Martin, inspired by the glove used more than 20 years ago by Nobby Ueda. Martin's glove, reinforced inside, kept his hand open, held. He was careful to grab the left handle of the bike. "An engineering work," he would say at the end of the race. And that, after the first workout of the day, I doubted. And I knew that I could not aspire to much. Not only because of his physical condition – "Jorge can control the pain. He did it in Austria. But when you have no strength or control is much more difficult, "they explained in their team, but because he had barely been able to prepare his bike for the race.
He ran. "I do not know how I finished the last laps, I saw everything blurred." And almost went to the podium. He ran to defend the lead. Paused, content, at the beginning of a race that was held in a group (a gigantic group, a score of pilots gathered in a few meters of track), 13th on the grid, 18th in the first round, 15th in the five laps; 10th at ten, in the leading group with 12 laps remaining. There he moved between the sixth and the eighth place. And it was not easy. The traffic was immense. In fact, on a curve he touched Masaki and threw him off the track. But he endured. And he tried to gain more positions. The last climb was a gift from Bastianini. Bezzecchi, Martin's main rival for the World Cup, had placed first on the last lap, had the lead shot, but his compatriot collided with him in the last seconds and both went to the ground. Martin, and his bionic hand, finished fourth. And leaders. With 26 points of advantage in front of the classification.
With luck, he'll be back to the next big prize, in Japan, in two weeks. And he will face Bezzecchi again.