That was a weekend in France that started off about as well as it could have, and then went pretty downhill after that. Leaving Le Mans with zero points after that … yeah, that's a tough one to swallow.
I've always liked Le Mans, I've enjoyed the circuit and had some pretty good success here, and it was all pointing in the right direction with P1 in both Friday practice sessions, and then fourth on the grid was the best a KTM had ever done around here. It definitely didn't work out after that, that's for sure. It's really disappointing for myself and the team, they've been doing a fantastic job and the bike was amazing all weekend, so for us to come away from this with no points is a bit of a bummer.
It's such a historic track here, when you think of racing Le Mans is always one of the tracks that pops into your mind with the 24 Hours here and so on. And the crowd here is always something amazing, they're always out in full force. I did a lap in the car outside the track on Wednesday when I got here, and the campgrounds were already filling up even then – it's always an amazing atmosphere in France. As a place to have a 1000th Grand Prix for MotoGP, a big milestone for the sport, it felt right.
Saturday was unfortunate, crashing so early in the sprint race when I was in a good position, third place. Probably made a mistake with the front tyre choice, to be honest. I'd done 27 laps in the morning practice with the soft front and had raced it here last year too, but we went with the medium front with the temperature coming up, and I wasn't really that comfortable from the get-go.
Still being new to KTM, listening to the input of Michelin … look, you pick up information from everywhere to build your intel going into the race, but that was one of those things that happens when you're still new to somewhere and you don't know your own way or trust your own way 120 per cent. I listened maybe more to some of the information that was around me than I should have, if I'm being honest. But the good thing this year is that when you have a bad sprint race, you immediately get a chance to try to make up for it on Sunday. That was the theory anyway …
I was always going to go for the soft tyre after the decision I'd made for the sprint, because even if I had to struggle or had a little less performance towards the end of the race, at least I'd have confidence in the front of the bike the whole way through. I felt like I had decent pace, but when the other boys came past it seemed like they were able to knock it up a gear, and as the race went on I was fading a little bit, just trying not to use the left-hand side of the tyre. I felt like I had a little bit more there at the end and had just done my personal best, but I used too much kerb on the inside of Turn 4 and that was all she wrote.
This one will sting for a bit to be honest, and we have to wait a few weeks to get over it because Mugello isn't for another three weeks. You just want to get back on and make amends after that, but the positives are the bike is fast – it was fast as soon as we rolled her out here – and I get to learn all the time with weekends like this. I mean, it's only five races into my time at KTM and I'm planning on playing the long game …