That wasn't the way I wanted things to end this year, that's for certain. It had all gone pretty well for me here in Valencia and I managed to get back where I started after a few fights in the opening laps, but it wasn't to be. Sucks to crash out of a chance for a podium with only five laps left, but I tried my best and that's all you can do. I was pushing hard because I knew (Aprilia's) Aleix (Espargaro) was out of the race and a win would have seen me jump him for third in the championship, but you saw what happened.
I finished fourth last year in the championship and fifth this time, but this has probably been my strongest season. Most podiums I've ever had, and definitely my best MotoGP win in Japan. Especially after the Catalunya test (in June) the results have been really strong, apart from the mistakes here and at Misano and then getting cleaned out at Phillip Island. Apart from those ones, it's been pretty solid and I'm really happy with how the second half finished off for me, even if we couldn’t sign it off how I wanted to here.
A few words on my teammate Pecco (Bagnaia) – it'll be weird when he's not my teammate next year after four years with him – you have to hand it to him and what he's done. This year he's just been better than me, last year he was better. When we stepped up from Pramac (Ducati) – he had a couple of good showings at Pramac – but to turn it on like he has the last two seasons with the amount of victories that he's had, it's been a massive improvement. So, huge congratulations to him – he never gave up this year. I was asked if I'd miss Pecco or Ducati more, and realistically it's the same – I like Pecco a lot as a person, and I definitely enjoyed my time at Ducati. It's been a good ride, a game-changer for me in my career. I've learned a lot, and it's been an amazing journey. I had a great time here and built some fantastic relationships.
The year isn't done yet, and I get to test the KTM this week. It's not been weird or anything to be watching what they were doing from when I signed on, you're always watching what the other bikes are doing anyway. It happened before when I went from Honda to Ducati five years ago, so it's something natural and that I'm used to. The focus and motivation was there this weekend to do a good job with my guys and for Ducati, enjoy the time with them, and then it's focused on what's next.
Thanks everyone for all the support this year, it's definitely noticed and appreciated with all the fans back at the tracks again, that's been unreal. We'll have another crack at it next year!