So, ninth again in Qatar, same as last weekend and a bit closer to the front, but not the same race here for me this weekend. Kinda crazy that I was just over five seconds off the win and back where I was, but that's MotoGP these days, and also what happens when you spend this long in one circuit after testing and the first race. But that's not what you all want to hear about, is it?
Anyway, let's get to lap 13. I've just done the fastest lap of anyone on the lap before and I'm sitting in fifth, and then I get together with (Joan) Mir twice on the same lap. Before that, there were a few contacts but it was just the way the race was going, a bit of contact here and there. Nobody seems really concerned where anyone else is on track, so ...
Back to Mir; it was one of those things where we both saw what happened, we continued to race after that so I don't have too much more to say on that side of things. I got hit three times already before, I think, so it seemed to be that was the way we were going racing today. That's all. As for a black flag as the incident was being investigated – well, if I was getting black-flagged then something must have gone wrong, and race direction eventually called it a racing incident.
I didn't speak to Mir about it after the race – he looked at me after the race on the slow-down lap and I looked at him, we waved at each other bit, and I said that was how the race was going, more or less. Other than that, we didn't speak. So it is what it is.
I was able to push after the Mir incident, let's call it, and I could close the gap but I started to suffer with arm pump on the right-hand side, and in the last four laps I couldn't even feel the brake lever. I don't want to ride like that, I felt able to push in every other aspect until the end so I need to do something about it. I had the arm pump a bit last week too but it was worse this time, so we need to understand why and get something sorted this week. Surgery could be an option which we would need to get done ASAP if that's the case. I definitely don't want another end to a race like that so we'll investigate what I can do once we get back to Europe.
I didn't have much to fight with in the last two laps especially and I went from seventh to ninth in the last few corners with Mir and Brad (Binder) passing me. So, ninth again.
Last weekend wasn't great here either, that was pretty plain to see, but there was already talk of 'this is a must-win' and all of that before this race. It didn't go my way today, but it's very early in the championship for that. The objective was the same this weekend that it is every other weekend, try the maximum to arrive at the top or as close to it as you can. That's it. We didn't improve on the first weekend here but it's a long old championship and we have a fast package.
The bike is good, there's no doubt about that as Ducati had both poles here, and both Johann (Zarco) and Jorge (Martin) got on the podium today so fair play to them. So that's something positive for me, that the bike is fast, and I just need to do a better job with it.
Don't know about you, but I'm pretty keen for a weekend off and a chance to ride somewhere else, which is good because that's what we have coming up. Portimao is next in a couple of Sundays, and I'll speak to you from there.