I HAVE to be so pleased with the race in Malaysia because we turned it round to fourth after I was down in 14th at the end of the first day of practice.
I was in the middle of a bit of a nightmare because at Phillip Island in Australia we struggled into tenth place.
I wasn’t sure if it was the tyres or me and a lack of confidence on the track after I crashed on the out lap in Saturday practice.
I tried to put it behind me and enjoyed the days in Malaysia before the race. I felt good – then ended up 14th after the first day.
Sitting down with the guys, we knew we had to do something radical and change from the base setting we’d had all season. It was a hard decision to make.
To go in a new direction was a risk, and it was scary to have to go through qualifying one to get into qualifying two.
It brought back memories of Argentina, the last time it happened. Not fun but we sailed through it then did well to qualify on the third row of the grid for the race.
We’d been playing defensively, just trying to bat it back, but I felt some progress in that second qualifying session and the drive was starting to come.
In the warm-up, I followed Stefan Bradl on the Aprilia and learnt quite a lot, which I never thought I’d be saying. I told the team what I had learnt and they made some more adjustments for the race and it paid off.
It was an important result. Cal Crutchlow was on a roll and had to be beaten to be the top Brit in the last three. I wanted to be the top Brit, the top factory satellite bike and to beat teammate Pol. And it all happened.
Physiologically it was an important result to show that, even though the 2016 contract is all signed, I can still put in that type of performance.
It’s re-cemented those perfor- mances earlier in the year and in the extreme heat and humidity. After three races in two weeks I still had the edge and motivation to succeed, which is crucial, and it was a nice way to fly home.
An 18-point lead over the factory Ducati of Andrea Dovizioso to hold on to sixth place in the Champion-ship with one round to go is a dream come true. I honestly thought seventh would be our target and I would be extended to achieve that.
Going into Valencia, it’s not all over and you only have to look at Danny Kent’s attempts to win the Moto 3 world title to realise it’s not over until that very last race.
I head to Valencia, where I won my last 125cc grand prix, with great confidence after Sepang because beating a factory bike over 18 rounds would be a huge achievement.
The last race is so exciting and I hope Danny can wrap up that Moto 3 world title, which we’ve all been waiting for, and of course the decider to see who becomes world champion.
While I was happy with my result and Dani Pedrosa won a great race it was the clash between Valentino and Marc that made all the headlines on Sunday.
In racing egos always come out. If I just have to judge that one incident between them, it was over the limit and out of line.
It had been building up since the Thursday press conference, back to the race in Phillip Island and even to their Argentina clash. These things don’t get forgotten.
But you can't use a part of your body to knock another rider off.
With the three-point penalty call by Race Direction, we as riders have to respect their decisions. We fight our corner but 99 per cent of the time they do an amazing job. But in the Safety Commission meeting, I think they’ll get an earful from at least a dozen MotoGP riders.
Great news that Alex De Angelis has flown back to Italy after his crash in Japan. Changes are already being implemented to ensure those type of crashes do not happen again.
What’s it going to be like for that final race? Valencia is already sold out and will be packed. The press conference on Thursday, the MotoGP Championship showdown and hopefully Danny Kent Moto 3 world champion. I can’t wait to get there – what a finish to an extraordinary 2015 season.