In general I’ve had a super busy summer, my wife had to look after the five kids during the school holidays! So she hasn’t been that pleased with me! But it’s been good to be on the bike, even with my full on schedule; I had double duties because I rode at the Suzuka 8 Hours, and of course I’ve been testing and riding in MotoGP too. I feel very fit, definitely ‘bike fit’ as they say.
Before Silverstone I spent a couple of days in Finland with the test team. It was my first time visiting Finland and I found it to be a really fascinating place, it’s very quiet with a lot of nature and unspoilt scenery, which I really like. And the track designers at KymiRing have done a really great job, they’ve really worked hard to create an exciting track out of a flat landscape and they’re putting in all the infrastructure.
The layout of the track is so different to any other circuit I’ve ever been too. There are elevation changes, a super fast first section, and a very technical second section. It put me off a bit at first, because I’ve never ridden anything like it. But my opinion changed a lot over the time I was there, and I left actually really liking the place and thinking that it has its own distinct character. It’s unique.
I found it to be a really fascinating place, it’s very quiet with a lot of nature and unspoilt scenery, which I really like. And the track designers at KymiRing have done a really great job
There’s a first gear corner that leads into a massively long straight - that will be the longest straight on the calendar. After that, it is super twisty with ups and downs. There are some sections that feel slow on a GP bike, but that means that it’s very technical so it’s not a bad thing.
There’s something for everyone there, I don’t think it will favour any one particular bike or rider. It might take a while for people to get used to it, but my bet is that everyone will end up liking it!
It’s going to be a very physical track, from Turn 5 onwards there’s absolutely no rest - with the GP bike you’re constantly on it and it’s tough from that point of view. Even in the twisty parts there is some hard braking, and I think the physical aspect of that will make it really interesting.
I really liked Turn 3 as well, it runs all the way from Turn 2 and then you go full gas down the hill and head to the back straight, you’re wide open in second gear and then you go uphill and it feels like a rollercoaster - that was really nice to ride! Turn 12 is also really exciting, it’s a downhill right hander, you can’t really see much and you just have to use the curb as a braking marker… it’s fast and so exhilarating!
There’s a first gear corner that leads into a massively long straight - that will be the longest straight on the calendar. After that, it is super twisty with ups and downs.
I’m finally having a little break and spending some relax time with my family, but in terms of the bike, we’re constantly working on development and making little tweaks here and there. We always want to make gains and improvements step-by-step, finding things to help us in the future. In Brno I felt so good on the bike, and then in Silverstone I was able to get a strong finish while Alex took his fantastic win. I really enjoyed being there with the team and celebrating all together, it was a really special feeling.
Every time I come to ride with the team it’s with real purpose, whether it’s testing or wildcarding, and now when I race I almost feel like I’m part of the MotoGP wolf pack!