I'm definitely happy with that one, really happy. Germany is a place where Ducati doesn't usually go that well, it was crazy hot out there, I had a long lap penalty… there was a LOT going on. So to be back up there on the box again after the last couple of races at Mugello and Catalunya were pretty average – I'm so happy.
Sachsenring hasn't been a good track for us at Ducati in the past but right from the beginning it felt good, I was inside the top three in FP1 and FP2 on Friday and I feel that confirmed what we saw as a massive step forwards from the test we did after Barcelona. I'd been suffering a lot from the beginning of the year really to get the bike stopped, so we shifted my riding position at the test, moved my handlebars forward quite a bit. I immediately felt like I had some more confidence in the front of the bike, especially here where it's all about turning because it's the tightest track we go to.
It was bloody hot out there, there was no two ways about it. For me right now, it feels like the most physical race I've done in MotoGP. With that temperature and the layout of this track, there's nowhere you can really rest on the lap, you're constantly working. The whole race I was chasing someone or being chased so it was pretty intense. Even with that, it felt fun because my confidence was high the whole time.
It felt nice to be able to attack again on the brakes, and I sent in some good lunges there with Aleix (Espargaro) late in the race, that's for sure. Before I even got to Aleix, I had to do my long-lap penalty for the yellow flag crash I had in FP4 and nearly crashed when I was doing it – that wouldn't have been a good look! – and there were a heap of rocks in the long-lap lane from where other guys had gone off, (Joan) Mir I think was one. I saw the rocks and hit them with the front tyre, I thought 'oh no!' but I managed to get out of there without losing too much time, which I think was crucial to today's result. I only dropped back to seventh and I still had 24 laps to make up the places I lost, and it all worked out.
Anyway, Aleix was riding so well late in the race, like he has all year really. I actually needed him to give me some help to pass him, I had two goes at Turn 1 that didn't work and out-braked myself both times. He finally made a mistake with three laps left, and I got by and was able to pull out a gap. And there I was, back on the box. I'm now really looking forward to the races coming up, because it's really fun when you can ride with confidence and attack the corners like I was able to here.
It's been an awesome weekend, and now we're off to Assen next weekend, a place where I obviously have some pretty good memories. And then it's time for some time off!