I CAME into the Aragon weekend determined to focus on all the weaknesses we’ve experienced.

The team did an amazing job and we were rewarded with fifth place.

These guys are the best in the world and they came up with the answers, but it’s up to me to keep asking the right questions.

You must never expect a trouble-free weekend with Bradley Smith and that old feeling of frustration returned after qualifying on Saturday.

For the first time in the second run of qualifying I waited for a tow from another rider and it was a big mistake.

I certainly will not do it again.

I didn’t scrub the right side of the tyre enough and in turn two the rear end of the bike let go.

It was my first cold tyre highside in well over a season, so I think I can be forgiven.

I opened up the wound on the little finger, but there was no hole in the glove which showed what a great job it did.

On Sunday I knew I had to go for it from 11th place on the fourth row of the grid – I must admit I made an amazing start.

I dived underneath Aleix Espargaro into turns four and five but we all squeezed into five and I hit the back of Valentino Rossi.

When I picked the bike up I bumped into Aleix and he ended up off the track.

At the next corner Yonny Hernandez ran underneath me. I lunged back at him and was getting far too hot-headed.

Going downhill into turn 12 I ran off the track.

I crossed the line at the end of the first lap in 20th place and was pretty frustrated, especially as it was bad enough starting from 11th.

It was time to get to work.

I got my head down and was able to make some good passes.

My pace was good and it got me closing in on the group battling for seventh when it really started raining.

I made the right call when to come into pit lane to change to the bike with wet-weather tyres. Apart from the first lap, the only other disappointing aspect of the race was our performance on the wet weather tyres.

I left pit lane at the same time as Cal Crutchlow, while Aleix, who’d called in first to make the bike change, was only around two seconds in front of us.

I then lost 19 seconds in the final six laps in the rain and it’s something we need to look at because both I and teammate Pol Espargaro really struggled in the wet.

I was with Pol and was determined to make it stick when I made the pass because beating your teammate is so important.

I braked really late into the last corner and managed to get the bike stopped to bring it home in fifth.

It equals our best result of the season since the second round in Austin, but as always there are plenty of areas of improvement.

I‘ve made a couple of bad mistakes this season, especially in the damp flag-to-flag race in Assen.

We really worked on the detail of what to do in similar circumstances and I nearly made the right decision of when to pull in.

It would have been better one lap earlier, but it was much better call than the last time.

The big talking point after the race was why Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa carried on at the front at the slick tyres in the rain.

I had a couple of big moments on the slicks in the rain and had to change.

It depends if they had those moments because if not and based on their lap times, it was the right call.

They would have lost 35 seconds coming in and then six seconds a lap. It was worth the risk for them, but for me the risk of staying out and crashing was too big.

If it had paid off we would be complimenting a brilliant strategy but it’s nice to know they can make mistakes because it does not happen very often.

  • Congratulations to Georgina Polden, who finished a brilliant second in the Aprilia Superteens race at the weekend. 

She is riding in the British Superbike Championship round at Silverstone on Sunday.  

We better watch out in MotoGP because the Kidlington girl is on the charge!

As for me, I feel really confident we can push on going into the flyway races in Japan, Australia and Malaysia. 

It’s vital to feel upbeat because three races in two weeks can produce a big points haul.

We really need to improve in the wet, it’s not been good all season and was at its worst in Aragon. 

We need to get it right, because if history is anything to go by, there will be plenty of rain in those two weeks.

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