That wasn't what you'd call an ideal race, let's say. Everything was more or less going how I wanted it to, and I'd saved my tyres for the end so I could make a charge. I'd deliberately used the medium tyres because I felt the guys using the soft rear were going to drop off near the end, but that didn't seem to happen. The only guy who seemed to have a problem was (Fabio) Quartararo, but the rest didn't. So, ninth it was – not great, not terrible. I guess it's back to the drawing board and time to do some homework if we're going to make any headway next week here in Aragon.
My pace wasn't too bad really, I was only nine seconds off the win so it wasn't like we were miles off. I was pretty happy with how I rode for the most part, but I can't help but wonder what my race would have been like if I'd used the soft tyres like I often do. I don't reckon that would have had me winning the thing, but maybe finishing a few places further up. We need to analyse now how the race went and then to make next week's race here better. (Johann) Zarco was the interesting one for me because he used the soft rear tyre and seemed to have some decent pace and he's on a Ducati, so there's some relevant data to dig through there. Sunday was the warmest it'd been here all week and the track was over 30 degrees for the race, so there might be something in that we can learn from.
I was pretty happy to qualify fifth and the fastest of the Ducatis after I had to come through Q1, which I didn't think I was going to have to do. I'd got up inside the top 10 in the last practice and then lost my lap time because of the yellow flags when Fabio crashed, which let's say I wasn't that impressed about. I didn't see the yellow flag, but I did see the cloud of dust where he'd gone off and I slowed down, but I still improved my lap time and that should have been Q2 for me, but then my lap got cancelled. So yeah, was pretty annoyed to put it mildly but just had to get on with it and go the long way around … I mean, nobody's going to be sorry for me, right?
So I ended up back in 17th and in Q1, so it was looking a bit dicey, but I got through and gave it a good shake in Q2 and ended up on the second row, which was a lot better than I was thinking Saturday would go. Shame that didn't carry on to Sunday, I guess.
How strange is this season going? I equal my worst finish of a race this year (with Brno) and I'm somehow a point closer to the championship leader (Joan Mir). He's not won a race yet, and eight other guys have. I'm 39 points off the lead but back in eighth ... anything can happen this year, and a bit more craziness in my favour would be pretty handy right now. There's still a lot to play for with four races left and it's too close to call, who knows where this year will end up.
The championship was a long shot anyway after we gave away a load of points in Le Mans (and Misano too with that tear-off), so all I'm trying to do now is get back on the podium and get as many points by the end of the season, and try to give the guys at Pramac a nice gift before I leave. That's the realistic option, and that's where my focus is. Whatever that leads to, we'll have to see. It's been a long time since I won a race, so I've got four more chances to do that.