No Dutch Delight in Assen 😫

Hi everyone, 

I'm pissed off with myself after that one, that was a stupid mistake. One where I was trying to read the situation ahead of me and not focusing on what I was doing, or should have been doing. It was a lapse by me and I paid a big price for it. 

I felt good in the race sitting in eighth and I was in a decent rhythm, it was me and Miguel (Oliveira) staying just behind the front group. Then (Joan) Mir was doing one of his passes on Taka (Takaaki Nakagami) ahead of me at Turn 5 and I braked a little bit earlier to make sure I could react if something happened. I had some load on the front tyre but clearly not enough, so I basically just fell over. A really shitty first-gear nothing crash, but one that cost us dearly. The bike had a little bit of smoke coming out of the exhaust from the oil afterwards, so I got called into the pits and had to retire it. So, definitely one of those days where I felt I had more, but it is what it is. In some ways I was lucky it didn't cost me too many places in the championship – I lost third and am fifth now, but it could have definitely been worse. 

I knew coming here that this wasn't likely to be one of our better tracks, so the focus was to give it my all and see where I ended up. The Yamahas looked to be the guys to beat with the long rolling corners here, it's right in their element. So we had to hope it would be like some of the other races where it looked like they'd win by a country mile on paper, but it didn't happen that way when it counted. Guess that didn't happen, as Fabio (Quartararo) was in a class of his own in that race and (Maverick) Vinales got back to second. We weren't in that class, but a top eight, maybe top six, result was there for us. 

Every time I walk into Assen – probably every time I ever come here in the future too – I'll be thinking of 2016. I mean, it's logical … the memories always flood back. It's actually been a bit of an up and down venue for me – 2016 was awesome obviously but it's actually a place I never really feel like I've gelled with when it's been dry. 

It's a track with some fast changes of direction and long corners, which haven't exactly been the strong point with the Ducati. But Germany on paper didn't suit us either and I was pretty quick there all weekend, and the bike has clearly made a massive improvement since we were last here in 2019. So I was optimistic … but in the end it was disappointing, for sure. 

So now we head into the summer break – not a great way to go into that, that's for sure. Right now straight after the race I don't feel all that happy with things, but overall I'd say the first half of the season has been mixed. Some big highs obviously with the two wins, but some down days like today was. I don't feel like we're too far off, though. 

It wasn't an easy week for us in Assen and I gave some points away, but we have Austria coming up – two races there actually – so that'll suit our bike a lot better than here did. So that's definitely a good one to come back to after we have some downtime. 

It's a big old break next – no races for the whole of July seems a bit strange to say – but it's not like I can go home to Australia because of the quarantines and what not … it'll be nice to have a break and not do so much travel for a few weeks, but it's not like I can go properly home either. An extra couple of weeks wouldn’t have been too bad but can’t always get what you want …

Speak to you after Austria next time. 

Cheers, Jack


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