“We were in a tricky situation, we were missing time and pace the whole weekend, chasing our arse a little bit, and we went one direction and at the end of the warm-up we tried something and I was really satisfied with it, then tried another direction for the race and it was just missing feel.
“I was able to ride in a relatively safe way I’d say, the whole race, I gave the maximum I could, I pushed every lap till the end, but yeah I missed confidence the whole way through.
“I wasn’t able to make one single overtake throughout the whole race, typically because I just didn’t have the confidence to go off line or to try and force a pass. I had to kind of wait for guys to make mistakes around me and try and capitalise on that.
“I felt like I was trying to manage tyres really well, and towards the end I was able to get back towards those guys, but wasn’t able to pass, simple as that. So that’s where I stayed. Very disappointing day. The laps were all very consistent.
“I’ve never done a race in my career where I’ve never passed one single person, so that to me is a massive blow, it doesn’t feel good, and we are all working extremely hard now to understand what the issues are, and to try and find a solution as quick as possible.
“We made a change in the warm-up and then for the race just to try and balance around the bike a little bit, and it just didn’t give me any firm contact, there’s a couple of bumps going into turn one, and there’s the clean line and the dirty line. I wasn’t able to put a wheel into the dirty line, if I did… so I had to ride a very clean tidy race and try not to make any sort of strange manoeuvres and try not to go out of the line at all, I wasn’t able to force into the braking zones as I normally can, it was simple as that – I just wasn’t able to use the front.
“Turn 1 has been a struggle for me all weekend, even in FP1 I had a big moment there and then as you saw at the beginning of Q2 I threw it down, going in there after a pushing lap. It just felt like I was really riding on the knife edge this weekend in terms of I didn’t have any margin to play with. And I think it’s just due to the track conditions and the way that the bike is working, the grip is out there, and the steps we’ve made throughout the weekend to try and fix that.
“Not being to this place in two years and then limited to a two-day weekend, everything is so much more cut-throat, so for sure you’re limited to how much you can change. We have a lot of engineers and a lot of guys working, but what we didn’t have this weekend was time and it’s as simple as that. When you compare to the last GP here the riders changed quite a bit and the tyres have changes, so we just struggled to find our way this weekend.
“In Qatar I felt like we had a great race pace, in Indonesia, quite similar, but in the race itself, that was more a set-up issue. We weren’t ready really for the ideal set-up for the wet conditions. And that was more to do with the rear end of the bike. This weekend has been really really tough on the front end of the bike, and rear… Chasing our tail a little bit, and we just haven’t been able to find a solution. We know what is the issue, we know what our problems are, now it’s just to find a solution and thankfully we have a great group of people with us to try and find that solution.
“But like I said, my worst lap was maybe four-tenths slower than my best lap and I did my best lap on lap thirteen, so I felt good on the bike, but like I said I pushed towards the end from lap 16, and I tried to come back to Olivera and was able to do it, but once I arrived at Miguel I wasn’t able to pass. I tried several different spots, to try and line up for a pass, and I wasn’t even able to really even have a decent attempt, because if I did I would have just made a problem for him and I.