There's no other way to say it, I'm happy with bugger-all today to be honest. Just pissed off with what might have been. But it doesn't take away from how the first half of my first season at KTM has gone, because it's been unreal.
The race … I mean, that's not exactly the way I wanted to celebrate my 200th Grand Prix start. I wanted more than one lap! I got a decent start and put the move on 'Vinny' (Aprilia's Maverick Vinales) into the last corner, and he came back at me at Turn 1 and I thought he was going wide, so I tried to cut back under … I asked a little bit too much of the front-end and away she went. I held a couple of degrees more lean angle at the apex to square it up … I was just trying to slice and dice at that point in time, and it wasn't to be.
It's hard to know what might have been possible today – I'm not going to be one of those guys who sits here and says 'I would have done this' or 'I would have done that'. But we definitely found something in the Sunday morning warm-up that had me optimistic, because Saturday … that was a struggle. A bit of a disaster to be honest, I had some big vibrations in qualy and we were trying to understand what was causing that, and after feeling really comfortable on Friday I was half a second slower in qualy, so 12th was where I ended up. It affected my confidence and that translated over to the sprint race. You only have to be a little bit off these days – on a bad day we were 11 seconds off the front on Saturday, but that was out of the points. It's so tight, so every little thing counts.
Sunday morning, I was able to get more comfortable on the bike. I felt confident on the first lap of the race and like it was business as usual, but that's the way it goes sometimes.
I was gutted for (teammate) Brad (Binder) today too – he rode a mega race, especially on that soft tyre. We knew it was going to be a bit of a gamble but he made it work. So, for him to lose a podium for track limits in the same corner on the last lap two days in a row … the rules are the rules but it was devastating, we were all celebrating and clapping in the box before we realised what had happened.
It's a bit of a shit way to end the first part of the year, but like I said before, it's been an unreal start to my time here at KTM. We've had a bike fighting there every weekend, whether that's myself, Brad or even (GasGas rider) Augusto (Fernandez). I've had two sprint race podiums and a main race podium and we've been challenging the majority of the time. We definitely can be very happy with what the bike is doing, and it feels like KTM is definitely on the right path.
Ducati are at the top at the moment, but they've been through the ringer in the past 12 years, they didn't get there overnight. They worked and they pulled themselves out of what was really a dire situation. When I jumped to Ducati back in 2018, it wasn't the top bike in the championship. It was getting better and I could see there were some great engineers involved in the project, and I saw the same thing here with KTM.
They have some great engineers here and some great backing from the manufacturer, and I came across with my knowledge. With that and the help of a lot of guys around me, we've been able to elevate the bike into what is a really competitive package this season, and it's only going to get stronger. If you'd said last year when I signed for KTM that we would be in this position now, the majority of people would have probably been laughing if you'd said that we'd be the only ones at this point really challenging the Ducatis. But we're working extremely hard and keeping the right mindset, the right attitude.
After three races in three weeks, it's time we had a break I think! It'll be good to take some time out, and then we'll come back to Silverstone with full force, recharged and ready for the back-half of the season.