Hi guys!

You can never take anything for granted when you go grand prix racing. I should have still been in France at a special triathlon training camp and instead I'm at home in Oxford having physiotherapy on an injured ankle - but I'm not complaining.

It was a real up-and-down weekend at Le Mans, but the ninth place in the race was just reward for everybody after a lot of hard work and a fair bit of pain. Once again we proved we are very competitive, and the next step is getting into that leading group to start fighting for podium finishes.

As I was racing through the final Esses, I looked at the big trackside screen and saw the leading group crossing the finishing line - and that's where I want to be! After the crash in qualifying and having to start from 17th place on the grid, though, ninth was a great result for my French-based Tech 3 team and for my sponsors Monster who also sponsored the grand prix.

I made an awesome start from the sixth row of the grid and was ninth diving into the first chicane. What really pleased me was I was able to lap consistently for the complete race, and on the last lap I was just three tenths of a second slower than my fastest lap of the race. Also, I was only 20 seconds behind race winner Marc Marquez at the finish, which was a 20 per cent improvement on any other race this year and shows we are very much going in the right direction.

It was a very unlucky crash in qualifying, but on reflection, I was very lucky not to come off far worse. Axel Pons crashed behind me going into the chicane after the start and finish. He slid up the track and crashed into me feet-first. I went down pretty hard on my right ankle, and the session was over with the bike too badly damaged to continue.

Sounds like bad luck, but actually I'd gone into the chicane a little too hot and was planning to run over the Astroturf and tarmac. If I'd have been cranked over on the racing line it would have been Axel's bike - rather than his feet - that would have hit me and the outcome could have been a lot worse. He weighs around 80 kilos and his bike 150 kilos, which would have resulted in a much bigger impact!

The ankle was very sore and I'd damaged the ligaments and some cartilage. I had a hot bath and slept all night with an ice pack on it to keep the swelling down. We strapped it very tight for the morning warm-up, but did not help the situation with another crash...

We are constantly testing new settings to improve the whole time, and that includes in qualifying and warm-up. Obviously we were going in the wrong direction, but as the rider, I take full responsibility for the crash - which the ankle happily survived without any further damage.

We have an absolutely vital two day test at Aragon in ten days' time, and I should be fully fit by then. Damaged ligaments take time to heal, but I will be swimming and cycling, so no excuses to slack off because the test is so important.

We will have time to work on everything that usually takes so much time in practice and qualifying. Hopefully that means we will arrive for the next round in Barcelona followed a week later for the British Grand Prix at Silverstone with just a few subtle changes to make rather than extra testing.

I always like racing in Barcelona, because it's really where I started my road racing career. Also, the team won there last year with Yuki Takahashi, so if we have a good Aragon test, we will look to push on and not have to check on the leading group via the big screen anymore!

Missing the triathlon camp also meant I went to Silverstone on Tuesday for the opening of the new pits and paddock complex. It's an amazing set-up, and it will make the British Grand Prix next month something for us all to be very proud of.

In the build-up to the British Grand Prix, I will be at Goldsmiths, Regent Crescent in Manchester's Trafford Centre on 23 May between 5pm and 7pm on behalf of Tissot. I am one of Tissot's brand ambassadors, and I really look forward to seeing you there for a chat, some photographs and signings.

Before my race on Sunday, I watched the 125s - and what a performance by 16-year-old Maverick Vinales to beat my old team-mate Nico Terol in just his fourth grand prix! I could not believe how he overtook Terol on the last corner to win. Watching him do that really helped me follow his example when I beat Alex de Angelis to the line - I must be getting old!


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