Well, that was a disappointing way to finish a couple of weeks here at Jerez – this track has never gone that well for me or Ducati, so for us to get the good result last weekend was probably a bonus, to be honest. Makes me feel a little bit better about a crap one this weekend. At least Jerez is done now and we can move on to better tracks for us.
I made a pretty good start from seventh up to fourth by the first corner and that was the key for me to be in the podium fight, so that bit of the race went well at least. After that? Not a lot did to be honest. Right from the start I had a few moments and I just struggled to be able to get past the Yamahas in front of me – not Fabio (Quartararo) because he was long gone by then, but Maverick (Vinales) and Vale (Valentino Rossi). Compared to last week here, I wasn't able to make the passes as easily and I had to make some big lunges, and that's when my front tyre probably gained too much temperature too early in the race, and where things unravelled a bit. It took me some laps to get past Maverick and all I was doing once I did was to try to stay out of the slipstream of the bike in front, because that's when you get the front tyres too hot.
I was trying to keep calm, be a bit conservative as the track temperature was so high that the grip was really low, it was really greasy and I still had half the race to go. Then I got to Turn 9, and as soon as I released the brakes I crashed, it was game over. It was kind of a 'nothing' crash, wasn't like I was in full attack mode or anything like that, but it was obviously massively costly. The bike felt fine so there's nothing for me to complain too much about, and after I'd had some dramas with my hand going numb last week, that wasn't an issue because we'd made an adjustment on the handlebar.
I heard that Maverick said after the race that it was impossible to breathe with it being so hot and us running in a group at the front, and he was right – it was bloody hard work out there and it was going to be a tough last 10-15 laps to get to the end, but I was confident I had the fitness and concentration to do it. Last week was hot enough, but add another few degrees – when we started it was 37 degrees and the track was 59 degrees – and it was pretty brutal. I spent the whole race riding right up the back of someone and being pressured from behind, and the heat that comes off these things when you're following just makes a hard day like this harder.
Everyone else can make a mistake like I did today, it happens, so all I need to do is go back to taking it race by race. A lot of people made mistakes or had some misfortunes here so as much as Fabio and Maverick have bolted by finishing first and second twice in a row, I'm only 13 points off third in the championship, and that's what I feel is the sort of place we have the pace to be in.
We're off to Brno next, which should be way better for me and Ducati. I was on the front row and then finished on the podium there last year, and this year's bike has come on a fair bit since then. We don't even use sixth gear at Jerez, it's a bit like riding around a car park for us Ducati riders, but we got it working pretty well – if our pace is half-decent here, it means you've got the thing turning a little bit, so it'll be interesting to see what we can do at the other tracks. I'm definitely looking forward to tracks like Brno and then Austria after that – Brno is sort of an old-school track, where you can let the bike stretch its legs.
It's been a couple of long and hot weeks for us at Jerez so I'm looking forward to actually leaving the track (it's been 10 days), and to get home to Andorra and hopefully cool down a bit, do some training, and then get ready for three races in three weekends. I'll speak to you from Brno.