Hello my friends,
It was time to make the last two races of this year 2016, in the circuit of Motorland. I knew it was very difficult to win the championship. Mathematically he could be beaten, but the 24-point difference I had with the first seed (Sasaki) made it virtually impossible.
So I decided to fully enjoy this last weekend with my KTM # 81 and try to make as good races as he has made throughout this fantastic year.
Complicating the weekend was the "thirst" for the podium that many riders have when wanting to do very well in the last race.
The two free practice went very well. I was very comfortable on my motorcycle at this circuit that I really like. I knew I would have no concern or fear of a "ghost" to remind me what happened last year. I only had to make a QP to put me in the first lines on the starting grid.
Unfortunately it did not work out well inqualifying. Still, I knew perfectly well that during the first few laps of the race I would place among the top positions. Finally I placed my bike in the third line. It was no problem.
The first race was fought with my closest rivals. There was continuous overtaking to such an extent that no one was to stay a long time leading the race. In the end, as so often, the podium was decided at the last corner of the last lap.
I felt comfortable with the second podium position I got. If somehow the championship leader got a complete power cut I was still in with a chance, making it much more exciting for the last race on Sunday.
And the day came.
The second race was quite unlucky for me. During the first round, a rival, in the heat of the race, he crashed into my bike causing me to hit the ground.
My KTM ended in the gravel and the engine stopped. Thanks to the marshals we got the bike started again, but it took too long and a half minute was lost. It was impossible to reach the group and race with the others, I had a very bent handlebar and problems on the shift lever when downshifting.
I managed to finish the race, my dear friends, for you, for the championship, for my pride, for knowing how to lose ...
I have many things to explain to you all. Mainly congratulations to my great rival and friend Sasaki for being the winner of the championship. It is an honour to have had him as a rival. To all Rookies, I say it has been a pleasure to share the track (you are as good as the first), garage, hospitality and lots of things with you.
To the Staff, thank you all. I have learned with what you have taught me, that is something. It is worth admiring the devotion that you have with us. Doing a phenomenal job.
Berta and Jasmin say that I'm glad to have met you; You know always to smile.
To Niki and Peter, thanks for having opted for me and for your patience, and finally to Red Bull thanks for all the kilometres I could do on the back of his bull.
It is not a farewell, it's a 'see you later'. Only that this 2016 will be unforgettable for me.
We'll see what happens in 2017 ...
A hug, friends,