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2015 TOP IndepenDenT MotoGP rider
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing
#CatalunyaGP DNF: It’s shame what happened and especially because I felt good all weekend. The start was amazing and I pushed hard in the first laps to maintain the position. I then found my normal pace and rhythm with Pol just inside the points and unfortunately Nakagami crashed and took me out. It is hard to finish a race like that after a positive weekend but we’ll look forward to the test tomorrow and trying to get our bike ready for Assen.
#ItalianGP#Mugello: I loved that race; 22/23 laps in the mix. I pretty much turned myself inside-out to stay in that group for tenth in the first part of the race but then told myself to be smart and to learn something as we went along. It was nice when we were just two KTMs but then Aleix (Espargaro) joined us and upset the rhythm a little bit and he was super-strong in some areas and weak in others. The front tyre pressure went up more than expected and that affected us in areas. (Tito) Rabat dive-bombed me with two laps to go and put me super-wide and (Hafizh) Syahrin was able to get by. I was trying to attack on the last lap and we all came across the line in the same tenth of a second. It was frustrating not to be twelfth – that should have been the minimum today – but to be there fighting with all those guys is more than I expected going into the race. It meant we extracted the best from the bike and gave everything we could.
#Mugello#ItalianGP Qualifying P17: We are already a good bit faster than last year and this is what we have to base ourselves on and how we have improved and we are definitely getting closer. This track is really technical and this is one of the reasons I love it but the weaknesses show and that's why we are struggling a little bit. I got held up a bit in the last sector of the qualifying lap and it would have been nice to be fifth-sixth with Pol. The fact that we are starting tomorrow ahead of our normal fighting group is good for us. Normally we get good starts with the KTM so we should be able to launch forward. Then it will be a case of who is managing the tyres a bit better and who has the grip.
#FrenchGP: I’m pleased with the race. I lost a bit of time at the beginning with the battling on the opening laps. I was keeping stable with the guys by mid-race and then struggled to get back to them. 14th is another points-scoring position and I was having a good fight with Morbidelli at the end. We improved another fifteen seconds over our race distance last year so again KTM is making gains but the competition keeps getting higher and higher.
Heads down now and thoughts towards the two-day test in Barcelona and we need to try the new surface. I enjoy Mugello and the bike has some good power and potential. It is always a favourite of mine on the calendar with the undulations and the crazy Italian fans. It’s a pleasure to ride there.
#FrenchGP Qualifying P17 “Everyone seems to be suffering with the same sort of problem at the moment and maybe having one of the softer compounds of the season here has something to do with it. It might be a false feeling of grip or some deformation. I don't believe it is down to the surface of the track. Michelin usually has such a lot of grip in the rear but it is catching us out a bit. I’m still trying to figure it out and some people are managing it. Here at Le Mans the corners are so long that you spend a lot of time on the side of the tyre and any issue is exaggerated. We are trying to find the key. The soft rear seems to be working better than the medium but I can ride with both so we’ll see tomorrow. Hopefully we’ll be going for points.”
Throwback to our special #RedBull track day. Great weather, great circuit and great students!
The opening half of the race was pretty good and then Bautista and Maverick started to up their pace a little bit. I tried to go with them but got a bit nervous and stressed on the bike. I spent half the race digging-in-deep. Pol and I then duked until the last corner: I was off the track! To the white line and everything. I was going for the pass; whether it stuck or not was another matter. It was a bit of a shame to lose a place but I was pleased with my pace. It is nice to see our updated bike looking strong and Mika threw some good sectors at the end. It is looking like the right direction. Let’s see how this test goes and the team have some good ideas for progress. #JerezGP#MotoGP