Right Idea, Wrong Time in Austria 😕

Hi everyone, 

Sometimes you have to take a chance, and sometimes it goes your way – and the margins are pretty small between looking like a hero or not. Didn't manage it today here in Austria, but it was a risk worth taking because the reward for it coming off would have been pretty big. I had the right idea, just not the right timing. 

It looked like it was going to rain all race, and when it finally came down with about five laps left I was eighth and had fallen off the back of the guys in front of me, so I came in to switch bikes for wets. Me and Alex Rins were in a lap before the guys up front, but it just didn't quite rain enough for us straight away to make the most of the rain tyres. Once we were all back out there on wets, they had the advantage, so I turned eighth into 11th. Fabio (Quartararo) ran wide and Marc (Marquez) crashed from the first group, but the others all finished either on the podium or just off it. And Brad (Binder) didn't pit and he managed to win it on slicks! A ballsy call by him to stay out there and one that came off, for sure. 

Sure, I lost three points at the end there if I'd stayed where I was but it was worth a shot. I'd gone backwards in the dry from sixth on the start and it wasn't really coming my way, so I didn't have a lot to lose. I had to throw a joker at it, and I saw the rain at the top of the hill at Turn 3 and figured I had to try something just to see what happened, and then hope it would bucket down while everyone else was out there wobbling around on slicks. I was getting passed left, right and centre by that stage of the race so it was a bit of a Hail Mary to try to put matters back into my own hands. 

I was 14th at the start of the last lap so at least I was able to pick off a few who'd stayed out on slicks, they were like 15 seconds slower a lap by that stage. There was a bit going on around that final lap, that's for sure. I could have done with another lap to pick a few more off pretty easily but we ran out of time. I expected more yellow flags with the guys who did stay out, they all did pretty well really to even stay on the bike. 

I wasn't unhappy with how I rode at all today, I actually felt I rode really well to the performance my bike was capable of. I fought all the way but I just didn't have the grip to stay with those guys up front at first. My pace was on the limit of my bike, but I could see they were keeping some margin, so I wasn't unhappy with how I rode, not at all. But I was just lacking grip all in all, it was one of those weekends. It's not what I wanted or needed or what the team wanted or needed, but we won't give up and we'll keep working.

There was definitely a bit going on this weekend with a crazy race at the end of it, and the big talking point before was Maverick (Vinales) getting suspended by Yamaha and not racing here after what happened in last week's race. A few of us had some thoughts, I got asked how I saw it, and I reckon it's pretty simple. You get paid to ride a motorcycle, we get paid to race them to the best of your ability, no matter your temper or whatever. You're a racer, that's what you get paid for, to go racing. I'm not saying either the rider or the team is right or wrong with what they did, suspensions and everything – that's between them, and none of the rest of us know all the facts, only they know. But on a simple level, that's how I feel about it. You don't like to see it so we'll see what the outcome is with Maverick for the next race. 

It's not been a great couple of weeks in Austria – besides last year with the two podiums this place has been hard for me, so five points from two Sundays … I'm happy there's not a third race here, let's say. It's a Ducati track usually but it's never quite worked for me. The only good thing was that I didn't drop a position in the championship, I'm still fifth, and we get to race again in a couple of weeks at Silverstone. We've not been there since 2019 so we'll keep our heads down and keep working. 

Cheers, Jack



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