It'd be hard to get much closer to a podium than that – a bit over a tenth of a second after racing for 40-odd minutes – so it's hard to know how to feel about Silverstone on Sunday. On one hand it was a good bounce-back for me because six laps in, it wasn't looking too good, but I was biding my time. And I nearly timed it right.
I was seventh with half the race to go but a load of guys in front of me were running the soft front tyre, and I was on the mediums so the race was always going to come to me. And it did – I passed my teammate Pecco (Bagnaia), (Joan) Mir and then Pol (Espargaro), and all of a sudden Aleix (Espargaro) was in front of me and a podium was there if I could get by him. I had five laps to do it – well, technically I did do it because I was past him for a second there on the last lap – but he got on the box and I didn't. But, fair play to him, and it was big for Aprilia to get their first podium. It's good to have so many manufacturers who can fight for podiums and victories these days, it's awesome for the sport to have six different bikes in the top six like we did today.
It was always going to come down to the final lap with Aleix, and I could see the right-hand side of his tyre was struggling where mine was good, but the opposite was true too. He had more life on the left side than I did, and the corner at the end of the last straight is a left, so he was always going to have it over me on the last lap. I tried, but didn't quite make it.
Where this race did feel good was that I was able to control it a lot more, and I had as good of a pace as anyone in the second half of the race and didn't fade with tyre wear or something physical, or anything else. I was trying to work my way into the race on that medium tyre, so I executed the race I wanted to, let's say. The first lap was hectic but I got out of that OK, and then I could see the group at the front and could set my sights on them – well, everyone besides Fabio (Quartararo) anyway because he just cleared off and that was all we saw of him after about seven laps. We were all pretty much racing for second after he pulled the pin.
Fabio was the man with his race pace here, so we knew all weekend that it would come down to needing to keep tabs on him early and not let him escape, but I made life hard for myself by only qualifying seventh. I won't lie, I was pretty pissed off after qualifying because I got through practice as the fastest rider and went straight to Q2, so seventh on the grid wasn't what I had in mind. I had two runs on new tyres in Q2 and just couldn't find the pace. It was a shame because I'd felt mega all weekend before Q2 but just didn’t feel comfortable in qualifying. It was a strange one – I wasn't able to go as fast on a new tyre in Q2 as I was on a used tyre in FP3 when I was fastest of everyone – so yeah, she was a bit of a head-scratcher.
I wondered what sort of condition Silverstone would be in because it had been a while since we were here – it was back in 2019 and they've had Formula One race here three times since then, so we all wondered if it would be pretty bumpy. But the track was in pretty good condition which makes this place so much more enjoyable, because it's a proper old-school Grand Prix track with a lot of different styles of corners, they don't build places like Silverstone these days. Sure, there were a few bumps but it was better than we thought, which was a good surprise to get. Right from the first lap of Friday I had a smile on my face, it was good to be back.
The British Grand Prix is one of the ones I look forward to every year. My results here haven't been that good normally, but it's definitely one of those historic races that's extra special to ride in. Right from Friday morning the British fans came out, there were plenty of them all weekend so I was super stoked to see that. Definitely makes it more enjoyable when there's a lot of fans around.
Aragon's next in a couple of weeks, so I'll catch you from there.