That was so, so close ... when you get beaten in a MotoGP race by about five metres after 27 laps you'd think I'd be disappointed or even a bit angry, but definitely not today. That was great fun out there, I did everything I could, and I got a great result. Less than a tenth of a second from it being a greater one, but Franky (Morbidelli) was faultless and you have to hand it to him. But finishing second and having as much fun as I did, that's a good Sunday for me. Hope you guys enjoyed it too.
It was a fantastic last-lap battle with Franky, you really enjoy fights like that and even more on a tight track like Valencia is. Battling with these big bikes when it's that tight, just unreal. It was like a Moto3 race! Imagine how the crowd would have gone off if we'd had fans in the stands ... it was about the one thing that was a shame today. I gave it my all, fought as hard as I could, gave as good as I got and just missed out. No regrets because I gave it everything. Full respect to Franky too because it was a clean and sporting fight, nothing dirty or unfair, and that's how it should be when the stakes are as high as that.
I went for the medium tyres here this week after running the hards last week, and I figured that it was the second race at the same track, I'm in a good position on the grid on the front row, so why not go for it? What did I have to lose, really? I had a sneaky feeling it would go alright. I thought they'd last well but the tyre life even surprised me, and to set the fastest lap of the race – that's only the second time I've ever done that in my MotoGP career – with a single-digit number of laps left on the lap board was a nice surprise.
The race, once I held my second position after the first lap, I had this mega plan in my head that it was going to be 20 laps managing the tyres and then seven laps hunting down Franky. The grand plan was to sail past him on the front straight on the last lap and then 'sorry Franky, see you later' ... I got that bit right, but I couldn't get the bike stopped into Turn 1 with the tailwind we had today. And so then we had a nice little battle – him back in front at Turn 2, then me at Turn 4, then him at Turn 5 ... he got the better of me there and he had all of the other options covered for the rest of the lap, and I tried all of them! I went the Hail Mary option on the last corner, squared it off and hoped the Ducati power would do the rest, but then I got a drift as I cranked the power back on, and that was that. But it was an awesome weekend for me and I absolutely love riding here, so it was a lot of fun. Just wasn't to be today, but it was a fun Sunday anyway.
As well as praising Franky, I have to say a massive congratulations to Joan (Mir) and the whole Suzuki team for winning the championship, they completely deserve it and it's awesome to see. He's been the cream of the crop most of the year, and he's kept his head screwed on and done the business. Full credit to him. I like an underdog story, and him winning the championship, that definitely counts as one of those. He's dealt with all the hype better than anyone, and he fully deserves everything he gets.
So all of a sudden it's one race to go, the year's gone really fast and it's pretty crazy to think we'd not even started the season in July, and now we’re off to Portugal for the last race next weekend. My last race with the Pramac boys too, so it'll be good to sign off on three seasons with these guys with another strong result, that'd be a perfect way to finish a really big three years of my life for me here. I've only done a few laps of Portimao on a road bike just before Le Mans this year and it's a pretty interesting place, we don't go anywhere that's as up and down as that track is so it'll be a good challenge just keeping that front wheel down over all those crests! And then it'll be time to come home which is something to look forward to, for sure.