We have to see the glass half full. "I know. Because in the lead up, there was no shortage of pitfalls. Historically, Austria is certainly not a favorable track for the Yamahas, even if one shone on the podium this time. It was not, however, Valentino Rossi's. He was forced to settle for a fourth place ahead of Maverick Vinales.
A result with a bitter aftertaste since, in the early stages of the race, the nine-time world champion seemed like he was fighting for the podium.
"In the end, it was a good weekend," began n.46. "On paper, Austria was one of those tracks where we thought we would suffer, like in the past. Instead, we were able to improve starting with the FP1, in terms of constancy and also adhesion with the tires. I think I made a good start, recovering many positions, to be in able to fight for the podium. Unfortunately, the leading trio was much stronger than me, and I couldn't keep up with Quartararo. However, it's still a positive result, given that I suffered a bit in the finale, but I managed to stay ahead of Vinales and Rins."
The attention then shifts to the tires.
"We had the right conditions for the soft today, since it was colder, but not for me. I had to use the medium, even if I knew it would have had less grip."
A pinch of regret can be seen on n.46's face, even if something changed.
"We're quite happy with the performance, since the second part of the season started off in the right direction. Instead, the first was very negative. It seems like something is changing in Yamaha. They're working hard to improve the bike. When we arrived here on Friday, I realized that we had taken a step forward in terms of electronics and speed. I think it's the right direction to follow as compared to Honda and Ducati. So I hope to find good conditions at Silverstone, with less bumps, so I can be competitive."
Certainly, taking off from so behind on the grid didn't help the Doctor.
"My problem was starting too far back. I would have had to sprint in the first two rows to get something better. I wasn't able to do more than starting in tenth. Quartararo was faster, and he did an excellent job this weekend too. He suffered less with the rear tire and was able to start with the soft, finding a lot of confidence, while I was struggling a lot. It was still a good race, given that Vinales and Rins arrived fast in the finale, but I managed to precede them. Obviously, the podium would have been better," he smiled.
In the post race, Valentino also had the opportunity to review when Dovizioso masterfully passed Marquez.
"It looked like a great battle. Dovi was good at passing on the last corner and staying tight in that stretch. He was very good. What can I say. Congratulations to him."
Someone remembered the maneuver in Barcelona on Lorenzo in 2009.
"I heard about that. But I liked the one in Barcelona more " he laughed, "It was a nice one."
Finally, some asked him if he considers the rider from Forlì a champion.
"I think he's a champion. Someone who has won more than ten races in the MotoGP is a real rider. He's just missing the premier-class in the World Championship, but he's been battling it out with Marc for many years. I think he still has many years ahead of him to win the title."
Audio recorded by Matteo Aglio