“Well of course I’m not satisfied to have finished in this way because we were able to stay near the leaders for the first part of the race and then dropped back. Losing two places on the final lap is not a good feeling. My start was ok and I could stay near the front in the first laps but later in the race I was making a lot of mistakes trying to maintain my pace.
I had a bit of a rear brake issue which meant I couldn’t get the bike into the turns as I wanted and I was fighting the bike a bit. Andrea rode well and pushed very hard at the end, so congratulations to him on the podium finish. It’s an important part of the season coming up with many races in a short time, so we must work hard and do better in Mugello”.
“I’m so happy to have made the podium here. It was very important because I wanted to confirm that the result in Qatar was not a one-off. We have improved a lot during the winter, so this is another important step forward. I wanted a good result for the team, to thank them and also because of last year when Dani came from 10 seconds behind to overtake me on the very last lap. Also, I’m very pleased to be going to Mugello third in the championship. It was a tough race. At the beginning I took a lot of risks to recover from starting on the third row. I made up some places and then I was able to match the leaders’ pace in the early stages.
Once I caught Dani it was hard to get past and I knew Nicky was very close behind so I had to find a way by. Dani has really good acceleration so it was difficult to make the overtake. I waited for four laps, worked out my strategy and I made my move at on the last lap at the corner I’d planned. This is a good start to the season, we worked a lot during the winter and Honda keeps working hard. We are close to the leaders – though still not close enough because our target is to fight for wins. We’ll go to Mugello with a lot of confidence as this a special race for me”.
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