Costly Slip in Styria 😢

Hi everyone, 

I'm pretty dirty on myself with that one. I had a podium finish in my pocket with 10 laps left, but I asked too much of my front tyre and completely threw it away. Instead of getting another trophy here in Austria, I end the race on the floor and giving away a whole heap of points. First and second place were out of the question but third, that was there. And then you all saw what happened.

The first race before the red flag hadn't gone so well because I had a bit of a moment coming out of the first corner and got mugged on the way up to Turn 3 at the top of the hill, so I was buried in around ninth or 10th or something before it got stopped. So I was a bit lucky to get a second shot at a start, and I made that one work – I led into the first corner and even after I dropped a couple of spots on lap four, I felt good as I came back to Fabio (Quartararo) pretty easily in third, so I was pretty confident I could get back on the podium here again. 

I made a change with the front tyre choice for the second race and ran with the hard instead of the medium, and while I was struggling with grip on the right-hand side edge at the beginning, I was able to manage it and able to still push basically as I wanted to. I could see Fabio's pace starting to drop as he was coming back to me, so that's why this one stung so much. I'm disappointed in myself more than anything, and sorry for the team of course. I need to see the data and see where it went wrong because I didn't feel I asked that much of the front, but clearly I did something wrong. 

Qualifying fourth on Saturday was a good day for us, because I felt we had to do quite a bit this weekend to get up to speed. Five weeks off the bike was one thing, but we had a few items the team brought to the weekend to test and whatnot, so maybe I was a bit preoccupied. Anyway, I was able to get some pace together to pull out a lap in my first run – maybe there was some time to gain in the second run but I kept making stupid little mistakes by pushing too hard. Sometimes you have to hold your hand up … as it was, it probably didn't cost me a grid position because I was about three-tenths (of a second) off the front three anyway, but I could have been a bit closer. The nature of this track – it's basically three long straights with some big stops at the end of them – means you can get sucked in to braking that little bit later, and the margins are pretty fine. A little more would have been nice, but we had a good position for the start. I thought we were in with a good shout of a result, and we were until my mistake. 

There's not too many positives to take out of today, but one small one is that I stayed in fifth in the championship because the two guys closest to me, Maverick (Vinales) and Miguel (Oliveira), both didn't score points as well. It's not much, but it is something …

Austria was good to me finally last year – I had two podiums here and was in with a chance to win both races, especially the second one – so that's why this one stings even more. The Ducati always goes well here and there's a lot of guys who have won on it here, so I needed to make the best of that on these two weekends before we go to some tracks that maybe don't suit our bike quite as much. So, I've thrown one away and have to make up for it next week. 

On those Ducati winners, big congrats to Jorge Martin for his first win today, as a rookie too. The guy is a star so I'm happy for him. And for (Pramac Ducati team principal) Paulo Campinoti and my old team for their first win, it was cool to see those guys so happy. In between my sulking, I went next door to their garage and congratulated them. A lot of Jorge's mechanics there are my old mechanics from last year so I'm stoked for those guys. 

Cheers, Jack


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