Sore but second in Styrian GP thriller! πŸ’ͺ

Sore but second in Styrian GP thriller! πŸ’ͺ

Hi everyone,

Well, that was a rollercoaster! Friday, fastest in first practice and really confident. Saturday, laying in the gravel after crashing in FP3 and hurting my shoulder, and wondering if I would even be able to race at all. And then Sunday … a corner away from my second MotoGP win, my first in the dry, and … yeah, you saw what happened. OK, so I can be disappointed that it didn't come off, and especially after I'd led most of the restarted race at a track that suits our Ducati down to the ground. But after how I felt on Saturday … it's never good to get that close, don’t get me wrong, but it's two podiums in two weeks, my first-ever MotoGP second place, and now I'm third in the championship.

Rewind 24 hours from Sunday, and I was in excruciating pain. Qualifying, I tell you ... I knew it was going to bloody hurt and I had to put a stick between my teeth and just go for it. Completely winging it, basically. I was able to get one lap in that was good enough for the second row and I was done, I had nothing. Saturday night, I was up a fair bit of the night icing and using heat on my shoulder and doing rotations and cycles with it, and managed to get a little bit of sleep. Sunday, I was at a nearby hospital at 7am to have an MRI, literally rushed in and rushed out. I can't thank them and the doctors, the Clinica Mobile at the circuit, enough. I was sore but compared to where I was before that, I felt pretty great.

The crash itself wasn't even that big - I've had plenty of bigger ones, believe me – but this one for whatever reason bit me. I walked away fine, but as soon as I went back out for FP4, it felt like someone was sticking a knife in my back and I knew there was something really wrong. So if you'd told me I'd be fighting for the win in the final corner the next day, I wouldn't have believed you. Absolutely no way.

In the first race before the red flag, I was able to get up the front but I had nothing for (Joan) Mir when he came past me ... I actually really feel sorry for him because he was running a great pace and I couldn't hang with him. He was like a robot, ticking the laps away and I had nothing for him, and he surely would have won. For him not to be on the podium at the end of the day, I'm sorry for him.

The second race, the sprint race, it was over so quickly – 12 laps felt like the old days in the Australian Championship! I thought it was down to me and Pol (Espargaro) for the final lap, I didn't realise Miguel (Oliveira) was so close, and when I got by Pol I thought I had it ... but anyway, it's a great result regardless. I got in front and tried to block, and I could hear Pol was right there so I braked as hard as I could for the last two corners.

Miguel caught me by surprise, that's for sure, because I thought it was down to Pol and me. I have to congratulate Miguel and the Tech 3 boys for their first-ever MotoGP win. It's a massive deal for (team principal) Herve (Poncharal), for Miguel and Portugal, it's huge for him to be their first-ever MotoGP winner. So well done to him. He was there to pick up the pieces, he made the most of the chance we gave him, so credit to him for that.

I'm now just 14 points off the lead in the world championship now, but last time I said I could be in the fight for it this year with Marc (Marquez) being out I crashed in Jerez, so I'm going to be taking the races as they come and not looking too far ahead. I learned my lesson the hard way! Considering I crashed in Jerez and then we struggled in Brno, we've been clawing the points back bit by bit. Austria has been good for me – finally, I'd done nothing here until the last two weeks – and there's some great tracks coming up that I enjoy. So let's just say we'll see. Misano is next, with the new asphalt there – what we know is that with our bike, the GP20, she tends to work really well when the grip is high, so with two races in a row there coming up, we have to make the most of them.

It's been a hectic time with three races in three weekends, so I'm looking forward to getting back home to Andorra and giving this shoulder a rest ... the right arm's still strong enough to get a celebration beer in with the boys though, so that's a priority.

Cheers, Jack