I've been so close to the podium here at Silverstone before, so to finally get on the box – super, super happy with that. I rolled the dice a bit with the soft front tyre where a lot of the other guys didn't, but we were able to make it work – I was in the podium places all 20 laps, and to finish third and just six-tenths (of a second) off the win – it's been an awesome weekend.
Aleix (Espargaro) got past me on the last lap here last year a couple of corners from the end, so I finished fourth – it's felt like a long time for me to be able to make up for that last lap with him, but we did it. So, a pretty good way to get back to work after the summer break.
I would have loved to be up in second behind my teammate Pecco (Bagnaia) but Maverick (Vinales) got me towards the end. That soft tyre – it was maybe not the correct decision now I think about it. It was definitely better for turning the bike and I felt good with it, but six laps towards the end you could tell it was starting to get a bit tired. More on the right-hand side I felt I was losing the turning in the corners, and then there's a knock-on effect where you start using the rear more to make the thing turn … not ideal, but even though 'Mack' (Vinales) passed me we made it work and I got on the box.
The whole race felt like a battle for me with different people – at the beginning it was Johann (Zarco) and Fabio (Quartararo), then Alex (Rins) decided he wanted to go so I put the hammer down trying to chase him, then Pecco … I was constantly trying to keep up with the boys at the front, it was just different people I had to keep up with. I tried to keep a bit of margin and let the race play out, and I had some pretty good tyre life until the last few laps in the faster flowing corners here. I'm up to sixth in the world championship again now, so the arrow's pointing in the right way. I tend to go better in the back end of the season anyway, so that's a good sign to get a strong result at a time of year I usually struggle a bit.
I haven’t set any targets as such for these final races for Ducati, the main objective really is to try to do better than we did last year in the championship which was fourth. It's not a big points gap, there's a bunch of us close together after Fabio and Aleix up the front, so it's achievable. If I can be consistent and fast, make the most of the package I have underneath me now, I can give it a crack. It'd be good to finish out my time here in a happy place, definitely.
The pace was super hot in qualifying – the top eight of us boys were under the old lap record. I came over the line thinking 'that was a pretty decent lap, she was a bit loose at some spots' and then seeing Johann and then Maverick faster than me … I took my hat off to those two because I knew what went into my lap, and if I'd tried to go faster I'd have probably chucked it in the gravel. It's such a long track with so many variables that it's easy to make a mistake, so for the first six of us to only be separated by two-tenths (of a second) – it was impressive because getting a perfect lap around here is almost impossible.
You would have seen all us Ducatis with some interesting aerodynamic bits this weekend – the 'stegosaurus', people were calling it – and that shows how Ducati are committed to all their riders, even me with me leaving at the end of the year. It's what Ducati does, it's in their DNA. There's nothing worse than not getting updates or being locked out of data, so it's nice to have that feeling. It's really unusual for a factory to continue to give the rider updates if a rider is leaving, but they've been 100 per cent honest with me the whole way through and that's something I really appreciate.
Austria's up next, and Ducati tends to go pretty well there. I had some pretty bad luck there last year but most years previous we've had some good results, so let's see if we can keep it rolling in a couple of weeks.