2015 TOP IndepenDenT MotoGP rider
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing
#AustrianGP: The nice thing is that we are learning more and more about the bike and made more improvements in the morning. The warm-up was a lot of fun and in cool track conditions the grip level was high and I could get the maximum out of the bike, and in Qualifying we have been able to extract better performance; which is something I have been focussing on.
I knew the race would be a bit of a struggle because the bike has its strengths but when the track gets greasy then this is where we see some weaknesses. I qualified 13th and finished 14th and this is where we expected to be. We finished ahead of some good riders on good bikes and I don't think we can ask for much more.
We pretty much defeated nearly all the satellite riders. I felt I made a perfect race and there was not much else I could have done. The team did a great job setting up the bike and 14th was our position today.
#CzechGP: Today was very frustrating but it has to be expected back there when everybody is jostling for position. The whole weekend was super-tight again. I was braking into Turn3 and Stefan took a lunge up the inside and tucked the front. His bike slid into mine and then I slid into Maverick and we all went down.
We’ll have a lot to do now in the test and I’ll have a busy day but we got through a lot of stuff this weekend anyway. We still have a long list and I’ll be first out on track tomorrow and the last to leave.
#BrnoGP#CzechGP Qualifying P15: I felt good this morning and it was interesting to see that a few people struggled or slowed down in the afternoon while I was able to go a bit faster it shows good potential for tomorrow. FP4 was tricky because I didn't get many laps in and I’m not too sure on the tyre choice for tomorrow. The hard would be a safe option but it is not working so well on our bike at the moment. The soft would be a risk. We will have to wait and see.
#GermanGP Race P10: It was nice to be able to get the result that we knew was there and we’ve had that potential all season. For some reason or another Sundays have been the disappointing days, particularly in Assen two weeks ago where I felt I could have done a similar job as today. We have to be happy and we worked hard all weekend. I was able to hold with Pedrosa and Zarco for a long time and regrouped after a small mistake. I could then pull away from Hafizh and bring home some good points; six in fact after only scoring seven all season. Finally a good finish and we were able to show where the KTM can be.
#GermanGP Qualifying: “Generally not too bad. I think we have better race pace than we do over one lap and that bodes well for tomorrow. Tyre life seems to be quite good for us so the goal is to get a decent start and push to try and be inside the top twelve. Qualifying was a bit frustrating as I was held up a couple of times but the weekend has been positive and consistent. We also managed to improve the bike a little bit in terms of rear grip. It doesn't feel like we are in sixteenth place. It feels like the potential should be higher. We’re optimistic for tomorrow. It will be crucial to make some passes and not get stuck behind people.”
The first half of the race was good and I was in the same group as Pol but then something strange happened with my rear tyre and we hadn’t experienced anything like that all weekend. I had the same tyres as Pol we ended up pretty much on the canvas, so something went amiss there and we have to analyse everything. My tyre just fell off the earth and even in a straight line it was spinning. A frustrating way to end the race but these things happen. When the tyre was there I was competitive and fighting for points. I’ll just have to accept that today wasn't my day.
#DutchGP Qualifying: “We made another good step today and found another half a second and almost managed a 1min 33. We did our job and we are improving. We made some good lap-times but everybody’s level just keeps getting higher. The overall result might look like a bad day but we are only 1.3 from first so it is our ‘normal’ gap. It will be a long race tomorrow, and a physical one in these temperatures and with the tyre ‘drop’. We have to focus, be smooth and fast and bring home some points.”
#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.