“We came here in May to learn the track, and it was a good test. We were able to lap in the high 1:23s many times, and on a used tire, low 1:24s. But since Friday morning, I was unable to stay on the bike. I almost crashed four or five times per session. I wasn’t even close to my lap times from the test, and the guys in front were faster than the lap record.
“We tried everything. For final qualifying, we put in the setup from Brainerd, but I didn’t feel any improvement. It wasn’t a particular area; it was every corner. The edge of the tire wasn’t working. When I released the brake, I lost the rear. I was really scared to ride the bike.
“In the first race, MotoAmerica gave me a jump start, and I finished fourth [the team appealed the decision, and third place was reinstated]. But it doesn’t matter; we were far, far away from the lead. We were not in the game. Not even in MotoGP someone gave me two seconds per lap.
“On Sunday, I was not really under pressure, because we have been really in trouble this weekend. We changed completely the setup, and I rode a bike that was completely unknown to me. I tried to do my best, but with five laps to go, my bike had no acceleration. My rear tire was completely gone, and I lost third place in the penultimate corner to PJ Jacobsen.
“We also discovered that all year we warmed up the tire too much — over two hours. We warmed up the tire just for 40 minutes, and the bike was really nice to ride; I was riding in the high 1:23s and the low 1:24s, at least for the first laps. In general, we cooked the tire all season. I don’t want to think this was the problem, but the championship is gone.
“I’m happy that everything is finished. I put Jake in the same level as the best riders I raced with in MotoGP. He’s very talented. When we came here, we didn’t expect anything, but we fought for the championship all season. We brought a lot of excitement to the series. For sure, it has been very good to race here. I would like to win this championship one day.”