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Answering back on track
17 July 2012
Both myself and the Tech 3 team have taken all the criticism on the chin that has come our way during the first part of the season, but at Mugello on Sunday we answered back in the only way we know how.
We showed just why we face the second half of the season with some real confidence.
It was not just finishing fourth, but the fact I could run with the top guys for the first time this season which made me so proud. Not many riders and teams recover from a bad start to the season, but we as a team and the people around me have never lost faith and we are ready to really mount a challenge to the front runners when we start again at Indianapolis.
I didn't feel quite so proud after qualifying when I wrecked the aerodynamic package the team had been working on for so long.
In fact I felt a right old numpty after a big crash following all the grief I'd been giving them to get the new fairing ready. To make it twice as bad my team-mate Xavier Simeon also crashed wrecking his aero package and so it was back to square one for both of us in the race, which is just about what we deserved.
I actually qualified seventh but was moved up to sixth place on the second row after Johann Zarco was penalised 15 places following his crash with Pol Espargaro on Saturday morning.
To be honest I was happier with seventh because it was on the inside of the track while six was on the outside as you funnelled downhill into turn one. I was dreading the start and was totally focused and got round the outside at turn one which put me on the inside for turn two and into third place.
I was soon shuffled back to tenth but I'd been working on my weakness at Assen and the Sachsenring of dropping the pace when the tyres started to fade and got my head down and closed back on the leading group.
I was lucky when a couple of riders ran wide but I was lapping as I should have been in qualifying. I closed right up on Tom Luthi in third and was starting to think about that first podium of the season but he gave me absolutely no chance.
He rode a flawless last couple of laps and on the last corner coming into the long finishing straight I was flat on the tank hoping to get a tow from him but Tom did not give me anything.
Despite not repeating the podium of last year we were so happy with the result. The improvement has been coming since Silverstone. This was a massive stepping stone for us coming into the second half of the season and hopefully, if me and Xavier behave, we will have the new aero package for Indianapolis on August 19.
I would race in a grand prix every weekend of the year if I could but that might be a bit of a strain on the team and certainly for everybody around me. It will be good to have a break which I'm going to spend at home for once. At the moment I'm house and dog sitting with the family away on holiday, while training for the triathlon in Milton Keynes at the beginning of August.
Just before Indianapolis I'm going to put my life and fitness on the line by going to the infamous Colin Edwards Texas Boot Camp. It should be brilliant but very hot this time of the year.
In the meantime I can really enjoy the summer break following the result in Mugello. At last we can run with the top guys again and we aim to do just that on August 19 at the most famous motorsport venue in the World.
I've only been home and day and a half and I'm already getting itchy feet and thinking about the race.
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