Sixth here in Germany, a podium in the sprint race and some good points on Sunday… it's hard to be too unhappy with that, even if both races were kind of the same as each other 24 hours apart.
Both races, I made an awesome start – the KTM, she definitely gets off the line well – and my biggest issue on Saturday was the Waterfall, Turn 11 here, because you could see I was just slow there compared to the others. The boys were going around the outside of me which shows you how slow I was there, I was being too conservative on the way in. I was missing a bit of confidence in that section of the track, but I was super happy to be third and be back on the podium on a Saturday.
The will was definitely there to get that part of the track right on Sunday, and I made an awesome start again and got to the Waterfall in first and then ... yeah, I definitely needed to change the jocks after that one. There was a bit too much commitment on my side and I nearly became a statistic … it was pretty close as I lost the rear end, and as it came back the front started going. Definitely shit myself there! I was able to regroup, but it definitely shook me a little and I was approaching that corner a little bit more carefully for the next 5-10 laps, just building into it. It was my only real moment throughout the race, I rode within my limits after that and then really tried to push hard at the end, but it was too little, too late.
Sixth is alright because I was just missing a little bit of outright speed, just in general more than anything really terrible. As the other boys were able to eke out a tenth (of a second) here and there, that builds up over the first half of the race. We stayed very stable for much of the race punching out very similar lap times, and I started coming back towards (Luca) Marini and (Marco) Bezzecchi there towards the end, but we just need to find that little bit more raw speed at the beginning of the race without destroying tyres. Our pace isn't bad, it's consistent, but it's not fantastic at the beginning of the races.
I was kind of in a massive Ducati sandwich finishing sixth, because there were five of them ahead of me and another three of them behind! They're all there, so that's the challenge we've got at the moment. At least (KTM teammate) Brad (Binder) and I are approaching it with the right mindset … I mean, there's no point complaining about it, all we can do it try to make our bike better than theirs. I know from my time there that the Ducati wasn't always the bike to be on, they started from some rocky ground, so there's no reason why we can't get the KTM there and beyond. We're still very early on in this project, so to be the only ones there challenging these Ducatis is bloody good.
So, another decent weekend here, and I'm happy to roll onto Assen now and get the triple-header done. Every circuit is fun for us this year and we can have a crack at it, that's the beauty of me riding a new bike … you come to these circuits where you know how you've performed in the past, but yet you still feel different. And Assen is somewhere you always go back to with a smile on your face because of my first win there. A long time ago! But it's always in the back of your mind every time you arrive there, always will be.
Last year, I felt really good at Assen and was fighting for the podium even with a long-lap penalty, so fingers crossed we can have a good crack at that again next weekend.
Cheers, Jack 🤟