Sunday’s 27-lap race in Valencia was run in two parts, with only 16 of 24 riders able to restart after the red flag
At the beginning of the first race, Álex Rins started too fast. I had to decide if I should take a risk and try to follow him. It was too much for me at that time.
After the rain became heavier and I understood I had some margin to play with, I was able to be a bit faster than him.
Valentino Rossi was almost one second faster than me; he caught me so quickly. It was difficult to manage both Álex and Vale.
In this type of race, anything can happen. There were a lot of crashes. Marc Márquez was so strong with the medium rear rain tire.
I think the medium rear with the quantity of water we had on the track was very bad, and yet Marc was there, so anything can happen.
Track conditions worsened every lap, and there were a lot of crashes. I was so happy to finish the first race because it was becoming impossible.
The safety commission asked us about the condition of the track. It's not easy from the TV to understand if it is okay or over the limit. They made their decision immediately.
Valentino was much better in braking and corner entry. So we did something to the rear to be able to brake a bit harder. The mix—tire and setup—worked well.
Even in the worst case, we weren't that worried we would have a bad setup. It was very similar to the other but, in the end, a bit better.
About the second race: I wanted to stop Álex because I was worried he would do the same as he did in the first race..
But after two laps, I realized that I was a bit faster than I was in the first race and they were a bit slower than in the first race.
I was able to put together a good rhythm, and Álex couldn't follow me. He—and also Valentino—didn't have a new wet rear tire.
We won because we made the right decision to not use a new rear tire in the warm-up, so we had two for the race. I put on a new soft front and a soft rear for the second race.
RELATED: Yamaha Continues Late-Season Turnaround With MotoGP Pole At Valencia
The rain in the second race wasn't bad. Valentino was the fastest when the rain became heavy, so I was a bit worried about him.
It started to rain but fortunately it wasn't too heavy, and Valentino made a mistake. For me, it was quite easy at that time.
I wasn't faster in the race than I was in practice. It's just that some riders were slower in the race than in practice. Most riders are fast in practice but not in the race.
With the bikes we are using, a lot of riders are fast. At the winter test, everybody was within a second. But at the end of a race, there are 30 or 40 seconds from first to 10th.
The mentality of the rider affects the practice and race. If you study practice—slick tires, wet tires—everybody is fast. But in the race, not many riders are there.
Also, if you are not the fastest, doesn't mean you won't be able to fight for the podium. And if you are able to fight for the podium, it's easy to fight for the victory.
I think the approach of the weekend, the approach of the race, makes a big difference. There are always a lot of ways to work during the weekend.
I'm happy with the way we worked this weekend. Every practice our speed was good, but we were never the fastest. In the end, in qualifying and the race, we were there.
To finish the season like this—a win in Valencia—is a nice feeling. I'm so happy to give this victory to my team.