Missed Opportunity in Portugal 😟

Missed Opportunity in Portugal 😟

Hi everyone, 

Portugal – that's one I'll want to forget pretty fast. There's no beating around the bush for me and there's not much more to say other than I'm in the wrong 100 per cent today. I know what I did. It was a racing incident, I feel terrible about it, and it was just one of those things. 

Until I crashed into Joan (Mir), the race was going well for me. I'd conserved the tyres for the first 16 laps and then started to push to close down the guys in front. Johann (Zarco) had passed Mir and I realised I needed to set up a pass, and I tried for three laps in a row to get close enough. But as I went to pass… look, you all saw what happened. Fortunately we're both OK physically after that. 

I don't know if I collected one of the damp patches on the inside but I locked the front and t-boned him. I went deep on the brakes and Joan went deep, I released and he released, and I was just in a shit part of the track to stop the bike, and got caught out. I'd felt like I'd been able to manage my speed there the whole race, sector one I'd had no real qualms with the whole race and the bike was working fantastic. 

That Suzuki is definitely harder to pass than it used to be… it was either Turn 1 or Turn 13 to get past, but Turn 13, Joan was really able to fire it in there and hold the line, so the first corner was the best option. It's never nice crashing out of a race that way when you're in a good position, that's always shitty, and taking a rival out makes it even worse. I'm extremely sorry to the whole Suzuki team and to Joan. Joan took what had happened as best as you can in that situation… it's a shitty deal either way but he took it as best as he could.  

I felt really confident in my pace and grip I had, and it felt like second was in play for me today and getting past Johann. Fabio (Quartararo), no way I was catching him, not me or anyone else. But second was there to be had… there's no point saying that now, of course. I managed my tyres really well in the beginning of the race, and the last eight laps I was able to push. I was well set up, and then I made the mistake.

Despite the way today ended up, I do like it here in Portimao. It's so different to anywhere else we go because of the elevation, it's pretty refreshing actually because a lot of the tracks we go to now are pretty similar. This place is so left-field with all the hills that you can't compare it to anything else, it's a total one-off and it throws a lot at you. It's enjoyable, definitely not the easiest but it's a good challenge. 

I know it's round five but the season always feels like it starts, maybe I should say starts again, when we get back to Europe. I feel like we have a strong base for the next races, coming from what we had in Austin and using that base setting here. I'm happy with how my bike's working. I can't fault it at all. 

Despite how it ended, I have to look for positives. We were in a good position, points were solid and I'd felt solid all weekend, and the pace was there towards the end. Thankfully we only have to wait a couple of days to Jerez and I can make amends for today. I know there's some good tracks for me coming up with there and Le Mans where I won at both last year. Wouldn't mind a repeat of that for the next two races, that's for sure…

Cheers, Jack