The funny thing is, a round before at Silverstone, I was watching Keith [Farmer, team-mate] racing for the Superstock title. I saw how tense the moment was and Birdy was like 'Give him an 'OK' board! Give him an 'OK' board!' We just wanted Keith to bring it home and I remember thinking 'I wonder if it's like that when I'm out there'. It's something I never get to see.
I remember 3 or 4 laps before the end getting the 'OK' board and I thought maybe the tension for me was the same as that for Keith. It made me chuckle a bit.
Josh was setting a really fast pace, but it seemed to me that Josh wanted to win the race as fast as possible. I could just ride around behind him using him as a reference point, which was perfect.
I was thinking, 'I can't see you maintaining that', and sure enough he started moving around and backing it in. like I say, I then got the 'OK' board and I thought to myself 'Right, what now'.
I'd looked after my bike, didn't take any unnecessary risks and job done [Byrne won the race]. I think my team had a few kittens…
You won all five races held on the Brands GP circuit last year, what is it with you and Brands?
I've won my last 7 races there but it's not always been my best friend. It can line you up for a bit of a fall. I'm not unbeatable at Brands, if I'm beaten there, no drama. I just like riding my motorbike, if they told me to ride it around the local one-way system, I'd be happy to do that too. It's a great track though and I love the place.
Are you are a nervy rider?
No, I wouldn't have said so. I was nervous before the last race though, probably more than I've ever been, purely because one mistake could have changed the championship.
If you haven't got a certain amount of nerves before a race, there's something wrong with you. Going at 200 mph though a 3 inch contact patch will always do that. What makes you nervous is wanting to succeed, once the lights go out the nerves disappear.
You seem to be really in tune with your fans?
I like to think I've got time for my fans. It's an important part of the sport, without them we couldn't go racing and Jonathan Palmer and Stuart Higgs couldn't do the great job they're doing. I'm very fortunate to have a good following and if spending 30 seconds saying 'Hello' and that makes someone happy for the weekend, then fantastic.
As a family man, do you feel pressure from them to stop racing because of the danger?
The only pressure I feel from Petra is to make sure I win! She's fantastic, she understands the sport and we've been together for 7 years now, she's a key part of my preparation. It's the same as my children, seeing my little boy clapping for me after a race means a lot to me.
Tagged as: Yamaha , Silverstone , Kawasaki , Ducati , Suzuki , Josh Brookes , PBM , Shane Byrne , Thruxton , Ryuichi Kiyonari , Tyco Suzuki , Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki , Samsung Honda
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