After his best weekend of the season so far, getting his first-ever MotoGP pole position and finishing the race in an excellent fourth place after battling for the podium until the final laps, Álvaro again shared his thoughts and impressions of the latest Grand Prix in his column for AS. Below you can find the complete translation.
Very happy. Hello friends! How pleased am I with the work and result of the last weekend. When everything goes your way, the Grand Prix just flies by. You want to enjoy every second and savour it. And that it was cold, windy and rainy, well, what you saw was the English summer. But that didn’t keep me from enjoying myself every time I got on the bike.
Social work. In England and at other championship circuits like Valencia, on Thursday there was an auction from Riders for Health to help save lives in Africa (last November I saw the work they’re doing there and it’s spectacular), with things donated by the riders. This time I donated one of my crashed leathers and they went for 1200 Pounds. The English are really very involved in this type of aid and when you add to it that they are big fans of MotoGP, it always raises a lot of money. When you are able to, it’s good to work with these type of causes.
Satisfaction. Remember last time I wrote here I did tests at Montmeló and Alcañiz and told you that I was happy? Well, I was eager to get to this Grand Prix to see if the feeling was good. Since Friday I knew it was. We corroborated it all on Saturday, getting my first pole position in MotoGP! Honestly, I didn’t expect that, but when you do things right, everything is possible. Sure, in the last few minutes it started to rain, but it was also raining for me and I don’t think before that people were just going for a stroll. Anyway, I got to experience again what I had missed so much: going to the parc fermé, interviews, press conferences, cap from the tyre sponsor and, one thing I wanted since I was in 125cc: A watch! The one they give to the pole sitter, I already have the ones from 125cc and 250cc, but I wanted this one and I got it. I’ll display it proudly in my home.
Fighting in front. I think many people believed the pole was a little lucky and that I got a perfect lap. In fact, on that lap I was held up by a rider and I couldn’t do my best first partial. I knew that in the race, if I started well, I could stick with the front group, or at least this was my goal. You have to keep your feet on the ground and know what you can aspire to in each moment and I wasn’t going to fight for victory just overnight, especially because Lorenzo had an incredible pace in the practice sessions.
Newness. How strange it felt on the grid, not having anyone in front of me. It reminded me of my good times in the other categories, moments I want to continue. I got into third in the leading group. My goal was to stay there and try to lose as little time as possible on them. I did, I stuck with them, and actually in some parts of the track they slowed me up a litle. I thought of getting into the fight, but I lack experience in these positions in this class, I have to get used to it. That, and when we got out of the corners, it seemed the factory Hondas had a little more acceleration and it always took a bit until the next braking to try to pass. I also didn’t want to gamble and throw away all the good work we’ve done. A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush, isn’t that how the saying goes? Haha!
Now, on for more. I was fourth, but to me it felt like triumph. The work starts to bear fruit and I hope this was only the beginning of many good moments. It’s given me a lot of confidence and my team as well. I think this is the first time I’ve seen them truly happy this year, smiling from the heart and getting the encouragement they need. Now there’ll be some rest for a week, I will enjoy this wonderful moment with my people, who also deserve this, because they are always there when things are not going so well. So when they do, part of the credit goes to them. I will also prepare very well, because we have three consecutive races coming up and I want to be at my best. Before I leave I want to thank the thousands of people who have congratulated me via Twitter and elsewhere – heartfelt thanks. See you in a couple of weeks. Ciao!
Photos: Gresini Racing / Milagro