“I was surprised how fast my pace was towards the end of the race. I was sliding so much, but at the same time I was very smooth and concentrated and made no mistakes and that’s why even with the pressure from Dovizioso, when I was at a margin of 0.4, .03, 0.5, I didn’t get nervous and kept riding better and better. I feel very proud of my riding and my race and also the work of the team, because we put together the electronics and the setting of the bike in a very good way.
Despite not finishing on the podium Italian team-mate Valentino Rossi was happy with his race pace and came away from the opening round of the season not only with a new contract but continuing to learn how to ride his YRZ M1 with the Michelin tyres.
Rossi was able to stay up with the leading group for the full 22 laps and looked to be a serious podium contender towards the end of the race as he set the fastest lap of the race with 9 laps remaining. Despite this pace the 37 year old was unable to make a move on Andrea Dovizoso or Marc Marquez in order to get him on the podium.