MotorcycleUSA: Best MotoGP season yet in 2012, what did that mean to you?
I’d say probably coming here last year and riding the motocross bike with you, you know it really pushed me along [laughs]. You know, I think I had a really good year, we had really good equipment from Yamaha and it wasn’t too far away from the factory bike. It was a little different in regards to different engine and different chassis but we did the best job we could. Hopefully Yamaha will give us the same support this year so we can be where we need to be challenging those factory guys again. Overall we had a good year and a couple of podiums and those aren’t easy to come by in MotoGP, so it was a nice year for me in 2012.
Tech 3 bikes compared to factory Yamaha MotoGP bike
Well you know we’re always a couple of stages behind with both the engine and the chassis. Generally, if the factory guys get an update, we get it six months later. But don’t get me wrong, our package was really good. If you put Lorenzo on my bike he’s still going to be near the front, there’s no doubt about that. In the end I believe we did the best job we could with our machinery, myself and Andrea.
Working with the factory Yamaha team
There are engineers that come across from the factory to check our stuff and make sure everything is right. We have a permanent guy on each side of the garage that is from the factory and they have all the information which is good and we also get the information off the factory riders but you have to be careful there because they’re obviously on different machinery.
Crashing in 2012, what went wrong?
I didn’t have THAT many, well at the last race I crashed out of a podium position, but I wasn’t the only one. That race was a difficult race. About three or four guys crashed out of podium positions and even the win, but honestly it was just a difficult race. I think I’ll definitely just try and be a bit more consistent this year but you get that with experience. Lorenzo in his first year was about the same as me. I just think we need to get a little bit more experience. Right now I’m enjoying racing and when you’re enjoying it and having fun that’s when you go fast. Hopefully we can do ourselves proud again this year and the team and make a good entertaining show for the fans because that’s why they come as well and watch it on television. I think we like to race close as much as people at home want it to be close so we’ll try and do that and we can make MotoGP fun for everybody and hopefully there will be some more people watching and we can get some more fans
The new season compared to last year.
I really don’t know how much different it will be, I won’t know until we get to the first test. Hopefully Yamaha will help us with the bikes but it’s difficult to say. I don’t really know what they intend to do with us as a privateer team. Hopefully we get the upgrades and decent equipment because if not we're going to be quite a ways off. The other privateer teams, the Honda’s anyway as well as the Ducati’s, they have the same bike as the factories and I think Yamaha needs to as well.
New teammate Bradley Smith
Yeah I really hope Bradley has a good year and just takes his time race by race and gains experience, that’s the main thing in MotoGP. If you jump in thinking you’re going to win straight away it could be a disaster. Hopefully he can take his time and enjoy it and have some good results toward the end of the season.
California in the off-season, why?
It’s cold and wet in the Isle of Man. We come here every winter and do two months here. It’s nice to come and ride and I cycle all the time. That’s all I do really is cycle, but also to get on the motocross bike every now and again is perfect. The sun is normally shining, which is good so you can get some training done. I go straight from here to Malaysia in February so when we go there it should be interesting.
Hanging with Josh Hayes
Yeah, Josh is definitely a good dude, he’s a wily ol’ fox, old being the key word! But the experience he’s got, especially with racing over here, we cycle together to keep him on his toes because the older he gets the harder these Superbike championships are getting. I think if I can keep him in shape with cycling and doing these bits and bobs he’ll be good. We have some good fun here at the motocross track but there is definitely a good mutual respect and we have a good group of guys around here where we stay. We go cycling and mess around and hang out together a little bit it’s just really nice to have that sort of group of people.
Well I’ve been with Lucy for five years and I thought it was about time I locked down before someone else nips her. Yeah, we’re engaged and we’ll set a date later on in the year. She wanted to get married and we’re both really happy, looking forward to it and excited. You know motorbike racers don’t really make big commitments and it’s nice for me to make a big commitment to Lucy and she’s committed her life to traveling around with me racing MotoGP. I popped the question down at the beach full romance style.
Goals for 2013
It all depends on what Yamaha can give us. I hope we are able to challenge with the support they give us and we are able to be competitive. We knew we were competitive this past season and there’s no reason why we shouldn’t be up there battling this year. We will have to see what happens when we go to Malaysia. I have my own personal goals and I’ll keep those to myself but they’ll be to improve on last year basically.