Tyre Gamble Falls Flat in Catalunya 😟

Hi everyone, 

There's no point sugar-coating it – that was a pretty shithouse day to finish off a shithouse weekend. Finishing 14th… last year I was on the podium here, and this year I was 30 seconds away and looking for answers. We know the bike, and I didn’t forget how to ride… we definitely need to go away, analyse it and work out what happened because this one was a head-scratcher. 

Barcelona has been pretty good to me the past few years before this, and it's not so far from Andorra for me and I've done a heap of laps here on the Ducati Panigale over the years. But it's such a difficult circuit when it's super hot because the grip level isn’t fantastic by any stretch of the imagination. It's always pretty low here but when it's hot, you're just sliding around everywhere and it gets worse here every year. The asphalt is not even that old – I think it's three years old – so that's kind of a shame. It's slippery like Argentina. You can't really get near the limit of the bike because you're worried about losing the front, so that changes how you attack the corners. You have to be super smooth, basically. It's always a strategic race here more than a flat-out fast one, you're surviving the conditions and seeing what grip you have in the last five laps, because you can make big gains or drop a lot at the end of races here. It's kind of like a waiting game, you have to be patient and wait for the tyres of the others to drop off late in the race. It's the only plan around here. 

The track was 55 degrees or more for qualifying and the race, so we took a gamble in the race with the hard tyre hoping it would last even if it made the start of the race hard. But it just never came to me, I tried my maximum from the beginning of the race until the end but I quickly had nothing on the right-hand side of the tyre. By the end, I was spinning in a straight line! The hard tyre just didn't function, basically. Felt like I had two decent tyres all weekend. 

I got up to 11th at one stage with no real pace, I passed a few of the boys and some others fell off or dropped out so I might have been half a chance to sneak a top-10 result, but by the end I was doing times I know I can do on a Panigale with tyres from off the shelf – and that's not normal. Other than that, there's not much else I can say. Just very frustrated, and the last two weekends haven't been great. 

There's a bit going on at the moment, we have a test here on Monday before we head to Germany in a couple of weeks and… yeah, there's a bit going on. There's no official announcements at the moment, but we're just waiting when one of them comes out. You'll all know what's happening soon…

Cheers, Jack



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