That definitely wasn't what I had in mind for the first race of the year in Qatar. Bit of a repeat of last year here really, because I had second-row starts in both races here and they didn't amount to much. I guess you could say it's positive for me that we're not here for another race next time out…
It's never quite happened for me here in MotoGP for some reason, on Sundays anyway. Saturday seems to go alright and this weekend was the same, I just got knocked off the front row on Saturday night in qualifying but starting fourth, I was happy with that. Saturday was just a good day for working step by step, I felt a lot more organised and ready for the race so I was actually pretty happy. Being third and on the inside for turn one would have been better but there was a lot to be pleased about, and I felt pretty calm. And then Sunday, it was all over after 10 minutes. Earlier than that, if I'm being honest.
Things kind of unravelled for me from the start, none of us Ducatis got away at all off the grid and I was ninth and on my back foot by the time we got to Turn 1. It didn't take me long to realise there was a bigger problem, because the electronics went pretty much haywire and the bike didn't know where it was on the track. At some points I had 100 per cent power, and at others I had virtually no power at all. Coming out of the last corner, I thought I was going to get run up the arse because the bike was so slow even though I had the throttle wide open.
I changed settings, maps, anything I could but there wasn't much I could do really. There was some fear that someone was going to clean run up the back of me coming out of the last corner because I went for full power, but not a lot happened. In the end it was safer to park it, safer for me and for everyone else. Not a great day, and nothing much to be learned from it. We looked into the issue and we know what happened, so the key thing is to make sure it doesn’t happen again.
Qatar was the first race of the year but you know how it goes, the talk started about 2023 before 2022 even began for me as to what happens with me next season. Look, I get it – I get this every year so I'm kind of used to it! – but I knew it was coming because my teammate Pecco (Bagnaia) re-signed for two years before the season started, so the obvious question becomes about my future. Like I said, I'm used to it and it's nothing new, and it gives the journalists something to talk about and write about how I'm going to lose my job, how I'm done, writing me off, so on and so on. I can't control that. It's not like the talk motivates me more, makes me do my job any differently – makes no difference to me. If I do my best job and I keep my job, perfect. If I don't, I don't. Sometimes feels like I have to put up with more of these stories than some people, but it is what it is.
We're back to Indonesia next after the test we did there last month, and it's always good to go to a new race. The track there reminds me of Argentina a bit (where we go to after that) and I'm sure there'll be heaps of fans there so it should be a good one. I'll speak to you from there with hopefully some better things to talk about.