That was one of those races where you have to look for the silver linings. Got a great start, got up to third, got to halfway ... and then it all gradually went a bit downhill. Crossed the line ninth, got a place back after (Takaaki) Nakagami got demoted a spot for track limits, finished eighth. But there were positives. I'm still third in the championship, and actually narrowed to gap by a couple of points to 12. So not a great race for me, but we had a fairly crazy top three that nobody would have predicted again, and we live to fight another day.
(Alex) Rins passed me for third on lap 14 to boot me off the podium after I'd managed to get the start I wanted from fifth, but I knew much earlier than then that I was probably going to be in some strife the longer the race went. I understood from probably lap five that I was going to struggle later on with the tyres, and on lap seven I switched the mapping to try to conserve to have something left at the end to fight with. Didn't work, though. I suffered a lot with the rear tyre and then the front tyre on the left-hand side ... maybe in hindsight I was using too much angle. I tried to manage as best I could, but by the end I was really having to control the speed in the changes of direction. I used the medium front and the soft rear (tyres), and maybe I need to trust my instincts with what tyres are working for me in the future and listen to myself more when we choose what I race with. So, we live and learn.
I qualified fifth, and I had to pull a lap out of the bag even to get there and just beat my teammate Pecco (Bagnaia) by two-thousandths of a second … so that made for a good Saturday, but not a great one. Really, we were all fighting to be best of the rest behind the Yamahas because they're pretty good around Misano, so it probably wasn't a surprise that they qualified 1-2-3-4. I gave it my best to be as close to them as I could but I was still a couple of tenths off. I knew what my strategy needed to be – get to the front and try to play around with them a bit. On outright pace, they had our measure so I had to come up with another plan. I managed to jump Maverick (Vinales) and Fabio (Quartararo) off the start, but that was probably the highlight. I usually get a pretty good start, like Fabio said the Ducati is like a rocket launcher off the grid, so I was hoping to get out front and dictate what they could do, not the other way around.
It was another weird race – Franky's (Franco Morbidelli's) first win, Pecco on his first podium and (Joan) Mir on his second ... I think it will start to become more consistent this season with who is up front, but then I've thought that before too. It's been pretty hard to read, hasn't it? Six races, 12 different guys on the podium, five different winners, four guys winning races for the first time now Franky won here ... there's never a dull moment this year, that's for sure. I think it's 30-odd points covering 12 of us. It feels like a championship anyone can win at the moment because of the inconsistency.
It was a day of survival, really, and I was missing 11 seconds to Franky at the front, so we need to fix that for next week here. But because we're back here again next Sunday, at least there is a next week, which is a silver lining. Kinda where I started this ... We'll try to be better next Sunday at a circuit that doesn’t really suit our bike, and we have a week to figure out how we'll do that.