I've got to say, that one feels pretty satisfying. Not just because it's a third podium for me in the last four races, but because we had great pace again here in Austria and I was able to make the most of it. I'm up to fifth in the championship now too, so getting back towards where I finished last year. It was a tense race, I was every lap in the top three with no chance to rest at all, I began it attacking and ended it defending – and finished where I started again, just like Silverstone. Definitely pretty content with that.
I got up to second past Enea (Bastianini) pretty early, and then tried to put a little move on (teammate) Pecco (Bagnaia) soon after, because I felt I could maybe help tow the two of us clear of the others. But then he found something I didn't have and pulled away, so I had my tongue hanging out of my mouth trying to stay with him! He's riding really well at the moment, for sure. It was worth trying the move, I couldn't quite pull it off, and then he was able to put the hammer down. Fair play to him.
Once Pecco had things under control, I was just trying to stay where I was. For 20 straight laps I was second – it was (Jorge) Martin behind me at first, then Fabio (Quartararo). Fabio got me at the chicane with about four laps left and made me look a bit silly, and I was fighting like crazy to keep the podium, which wasn't easy because I'd pretty much run out of everything at that stage! I was struggling in the left-hand corners, mostly. Martin had a go at the first corner on the last lap, and I was kind of lucky to get away with that one when he crashed beside me. I know I braked deep, so I don’t know where he was planning on going because he braked later than me! I don't know if he wanted to stay on the track or not… anyway, it made the rest of my last lap a bit more chilled, so it all worked out.
Since we had the test after the race in Barcelona and we found something on the bike to unlock the speed I knew was there, we've been there or thereabouts. I've been able to challenge for the podium at each of the last four races and I've managed to get three of them, so it's been great. The team has been in great form, it's cool to be a part of, so I'm excited about the races we have coming up.
It's nice to talk about the race because – I'm sure you all saw – we spent a lot of the weekend talking about other stuff which I guess I should mention. First one was the chicane here they put in after Turn 1, basically cutting that straight that went up to Turn 3 in half. It was better for the safety and the racing, so there's no real negatives from where I sit. It was a nice addition to the track, added another element to it.
The chicane itself… it comes up on you pretty quickly and there's a lot of different camber changes going in, so the bike moves around a lot. The bumps on the way out spice it up. And it made Turn 3 better for passing too. At less speed you've got more margin to be able to stop the bike… if you brake one second later at 350km/h you're going off the end of the track, so one second later at, say, 200km/h is a big difference. It's a safer alternative and if that means we can keep racing at tracks like this place, then I'm all for it.
The other big talking point – yeah, the bigger one – that came up was the news about us doing sprint races next year, a bit like Formula One do at some tracks, but we'll have one every weekend. We didn't know too much about it before this weekend and there's obviously a bit to be finalised still, but I figure we may as well try it… switch it up and see what people think. Why not? A sprint race would throw an extra element in, you'd have half-points to chase, you'd want to risk more as a rider and not worry about tyres or fuel… I actually don't mind it at all. I'm sure you fans want to see it, so let's give it a crack.
For us riders… I mean, when I have a weekend off from racing motorcycles, I want to go racing motorcycles. When you think about it, we have this build-up over four or five days at every weekend to race just once… I think change is good. The fact that the championship is willing to try a big step outside of what's been the regular way of doing things, I take my hat off to them. It's a gamble, but I think it's a positive one.
Misano is next, so hopefully we keep this podium run going in a couple of weeks.