The Pramac Ducati rider’s second half charge saw him snatch the title lead on Saturday at Mandalika. He then looked set to land another heavy blow on Bagnaia when he disappeared into a healthy lead in the Sunday race.

But a minor off-line moment saw a shocked Martin lowside from the lead.

It was his first major mistake in eleven GPs but was followed just a week later by an unnecessary tyre gamble in Australia, leaving Martin to plummet from first to fifth place on the very final lap.

Martin’s 7-point lead after the Indonesian Sprint thus became a 27-point deficit after Australia.

“We made history with what we achieved in a satellite team this season. I'm happy about the 13 wins, all the podiums and laps in the lead. I think it was an outstanding job,” Martin said. “The target was to be in the title top three and we did much more than that. But for sure when you are so close to [the title], you don't want to lose it.

“But I think we didn't lose the championship [at Valencia]. Arriving at the final round 21 points behind [after Qatar] was a big problem.”

Martin reflected: “I would say there was not just one race [where I lost the title], but maybe two. Maybe Indonesia and Australia, where the balance changed from me leading to being 27 points behind.

“Maybe being too [fast] at that point gave me overconfidence and I said, ‘OK, I can pull away by five seconds. I can win with another tyre. I can do whatever I want’.

“We are in MotoGP; you cannot do that. You have to always be with the same tools [tyres] as your rivals. And if you win a race by one tenth or 10 seconds, it's the same points. I think this is the main lesson I got for the future.”

Martin didn’t mention the tyre performance issue in Qatar, which at the time he had said ‘decided the championship’, perhaps accepting with hindsight that Bagnaia suffered similar problems on multiple occasions this season.

But Martin did admit the unfamiliar pressure of being in a MotoGP title fight had been tough to handle.

“I think Misano was when I said ‘OK, I’m the best at the moment’. Winning in Italy, in their [factory Ducati team] home, was unbelievable. I think the best feeling ever," he said.

“Then we went to India, I won the Sprint and was second with the wrong tyre [in the GP]. I said ‘OK, now we are only 14 points [behind]’. It’s time. Then in Japan I won both races, so I think Japan was maybe the point where I said ‘we can win the championship’.

“Then the pressure arrived. I didn't enjoy from Thailand until Qatar. I struggled a lot mentally. It was my first time feeling this kind of pressure.

“I think when I’m enjoying like [Valencia], I am the fastest. So hopefully next season I can learn from this experience and can enjoy from the first race.”

There was little to separate Martin and Bagnaia in terms of highs and lows this season:

Bagnaia won a combined 11 races with Martin victorious 13 times. However, Bagnaia took victory in more GPs (7-4) and Martin Sprints (9-4).

Their non-score tally was roughly similar, with 6 for Bagnaia and 4 for Martin.

But an area of substantial difference was in terms of weekends where each scored less than 20 out of the maximum 37 points.

While Bagnaia walked away with less than 20 points at just 5 out of 20 events, Martin did so on 11 occasions, over half of the season, despite the lower DNF tally, suggesting Pecco dealt with damage limitation better.

Nonetheless, Martin made a massive jump from ninth overall in his previous seasons and was on the brink of becoming the first satellite rider to win the MotoGP crown.

“I made only three mistakes on Sunday [until Valencia], so I think we did a great job. Next season the target is to make zero mistakes and [if we do that] for sure we will bring that championship,” he said.

“I promised my team that we will be world champions someday. It wasn’t [this year]. Maybe it's not next year. But I feel like I can do it. So hopefully it will be soon…”

Martin will remain with Pramac Ducati, on the latest Desmosedici machinery, in 2024, but his sights remain set on a factory seat for 2025.