I’m coming back to Europe after the opening three races confident we are back in a strong position with 15 chances to make up for the no points in Austin.
I’d had 26 consecutive Grand Prix points finishes so it was disappointing, but I’ve had my fair share of luck in those races.
I’ll take it on the chin and use it as motivation for the rest of the season.
The new situation with tyres and electronics has been difficult, but when you are struggling it makes it worse.
I didn’t feel too bad during pre-season, but once I got to the races we realised we were going in the wrong direction and we got caught out.
At the opening round in Qatar I was pretty pleased with eighth and felt it was a solid way to get points in the first race, although there was something missing.
Argentina was a struggle and I realised after a few laps in Austin we were just using sticking plasters when surgery was needed.
After the first two practice runs in Austin I knew the moment had come to start again.
Normally I can put ten laps together, even if the setting is not good, but in Austin I thought ‘oh my God, something is seriously wrong’.
We kept one bike in the old configuration and went off in a new adventure with the No 1 machine.
We stuck with it, although it was difficult at the start and the team needed some persuading from me.
It was great to see their happy faces after topping qualifying one when I came back in, because they had realised we were in a very difficult situation.
It was blind faith from the team, because if you look at the settings we are now using it’s very different to what we have ever seen on the Yamaha M1.
It’s great to have that support from your crew and important that we have worked so closely over the last three years and especially with the news I’m leaving them to join KTM next year.
It would have been very easy for the team to start pointing fingers at me, but they never once even mumbled and kept complete faith to do the right thing.
It was a brave move to start again in Austin with a completely different motorcycle, scrapping everything we’d planned in the winter.
Almost straight away it started to look more positive – up until the race itself.
In qualifying we found something and that continued in the morning warm-up.
In the race we were going in the right direction until turn 11, when I was slightly off-line and I followed Cal Crutchlow into the gravel, which was a shame.
His crash did spook me a bit and I released the brake and ran over the same patch as him and went down.
There had been a couple of blow-ups in the American Superbike race the previous day and there could have been something on the track.
I did soldier on without a gear lever and with the electronics not working in the right way, but it would have hurt me a lot more to sit in the garage and not learn anything.
The plan was to get three points-scoring finishes at the first three races and we were close.
We have done nothing but defend and have not been in an attacking position and I’m sat 12 points behind my team-mate, but I feel I’m back riding the motorcycle I like and enjoy.
MY move for next year came as a shock to some people, but KTM rather like myself do their work behind closed doors and don’t wash their laundry in public.
They are very serious individuals who have a clear plan and are very motivated.
Very few people knew. Following initial talks we had a meeting in Austria after which I decided I wanted to be involved with them.
I have not seen the bike’s performance, but I know from looking at their amazing record and knowing people working inside the project that it will be brilliant to be involved right from the start.
The first 12 months will be tough but we need to start putting KTM where they belong because they are one of the top manufacturers in the world.
It’s a big responsibility on my shoulders, but I’m going to enjoy the whole project.
I have such a great relationship with Tech 3 Yamaha which no way will be affected by my move.
I always try to build a relationship with people and they know I will be totally loyal to the very last day with them.
They know I will not give up until the last minute.
I’m here to finish the job and be the top satellite rider again.