I’m back from the second weekend of the Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup in Jerez. It was a very fun weekend but I struggled to get a good qualifying position. Somehow, right before our free practice, the electricity went out and we couldn’t ride. Free practice was then extended to 40 minutes but qualifying 2 was cancelled. This made it more difficult for me, especially knowing that I didn’t have a second chance if I messed up in the first qualifying. I ended up qualifying 20th and I knew it was going to be a very difficult race.
Race 1 went okay, not as well as it could have been. I got a very bad start and was fighting in a group for too long and the top 10 pack got away. I was a little disappointed but I did a good lap time. I was happy with that because that was also what the top 10 guys were doing. I knew for sure that I could stick with them in the second race.
Race 2 lasted for about four laps. I got my best ever start and was able to pass a few people going into the first corner. I was immediately in 14th place and barely spent any time fighting. I was on such a roll that I opened up a 2 second gap in the first two laps to 15th place! I was closing the gap on the group in front of me. I knew that the top 10 was close. I was about to complete my fourth lap when I got to turn 11. I was already having some problems in this corner so it was very tricky for me to go fast through it. I tried to go wide-open through it when I suddenly got a front end tuck. I was quick enough to save it by slamming my knee on the ground but since I was going so fast, I ran off the line and into a bunch of bumps at full lean angle. I instantly got into a tank-slapper and I tried to save it, but it just made it worse and the front just let go.
I was so upset that I crashed when everything was going so well. After the race was over, I knew that I was going very fast and I wanted to see my lap time. I waited for a while and I finally got the timing sheet. I was surprised to see my lap time. I was so happy as soon as I saw that and realised that if I had gone faster in qualifying, my bike would’ve been better set up and I could have been more prepared for something to go wrong.
Assen is in a few weeks. We’ll talk again soon.