That was not the most ideal day, you might say. A bit shitty to end the race like that, but there's not much we could have done.
You all saw how my race ended, but maybe not how it came about. I made a little bit of a mistake on the back straight – kind of bugger-all, just ran out a little bit through Turn 11 on the green (paint) – and put myself in the range of (Yamaha's Franco) Morbidelli, and I reckon he tried to pass six times – and every time going off the end of the track. On the last go he did it at Turn 4 and went off the end, and as I was turning the corner (Ducati's Michele) Pirro centre-punched me in the middle of my ribs, and that was it. Not much more to say, really. Wrong place, wrong time … unlucky.
It just wasn’t the weekend we wanted. The pace wasn't bad and it wasn't like things were terrible, but we were just missing a little bit – from myself and from the bike. Whatever it was, we don't know – we're trying to discover what it was. I was really fast in the second and fourth sectors of the lap, but sectors one and three … in qualifying I was nearly last in both sectors. The fast and flowing corners where you have to let the brakes off and go, I just didn't have the confidence in it. I got away to a decent start in the Sprint race, but being 18th on the grid and with the chaos into Turn 1 off the start, I couldn't brake hard enough to unlock the front ride-height device, and I did the first sector with that down and lost a heap of positions before it finally unlocked at Turn 4.
On Sunday we made some final little tweaks on the bike and it wasn't feeling too bad, we made a better start than Saturday, and I settled into my pace before it all ended too quickly. I was missing confidence, especially Turn 11, to let the bike flow through there – that's such a crucial corner here but I had no confidence, I needed to trust the front of the bike more to carry the speed. The flowing corners in the first sector was the same thing.
We're not giving up, we'll keep plugging away and I'll try to improve. I need to get better, plain and simple. The test on Monday comes at a good time – maybe a few weeks earlier would have been better I reckon – but at least it gives me a chance to try to work a few things out and get ourselves ready for the back-half of this year.
I'm sure there's some items that aren't for this year in the test, but I said to the team 'put them on in the afternoon, because I need the morning session to understand this bike and what I need to do on it to make it better'. Just really ride the bike and understand what I want from it. So it's an important day for us.
While I'm here, you would have seen that we lost Mike Trimby over the weekend, he's been a hugely important figure in the paddock with his role with IRTA and looking after us riders and teams, so I wanted to say a few words about him.
I've been here in world championship only 12 years, and Mike was someone who was crucial to me still being here in this paddock today. Without the support of Mike and IRTA in my early years, both financially and in terms of guidance with teams and stuff like that … he's been an amazing person. After I won in Jerez last year, he was one of the first people I went to see. My thoughts are with his wife Irene, they were kind of like surrogate family for me when my parents went home to Australia in those early days for me in Europe. He was a great man who did some amazing things for this sport, and we were all devastated to hear the news on Friday.
So … I have the test here tomorrow, and then it's go-time to get home in time for the baby this week! I'm so excited to be able to get home for a few days with Ruby and my new family before we head off to India for the first race there. I should be home the day before, so it's definitely going to be cutting it a bit fine …