That's a testament to how hard we had to ride in BSB this year and anyone who thinks that World Superbikes is another level...it's nonsense. Do I think that if I was in World Superbikes on a factory Kawasaki that I wouldn't be winning races? Of course I don't, I truly believe that I would.
But that opportunity hasn't arisen and as it stands I've been happy winning races in BSB.
If the chance did come up, would you go back to World Superbikes?
I think that I'd have to see what Paul wanted to do. Paul Bird has been a massive part of my career and right now I'm riding because I'm still in contract but he's said as good as 'I've got your back and I don't know what you'll be riding but I want you to be riding for me' and the feeling is mutual. I love this team and I love working for Paul and I'm hopeful that we can continue that way and see what happens.
Alex is going into World Superbikes now with riders like Tom Sykes, Leon Haslam and Chaz Davies. How do you view the British riders in WSBK?
I think that Alex will give them a wake-up call. There's some guys that have got pretty comfy there and there's some guys that have never had to ride bad bikes.
That makes a big difference and we've all spoken about Valentino Rossi being the GOAT but we've seen him have two really difficult years with the team he used to be with [Ducati] and because of that everyone is questioning his motivation and his ability now. They've forgotten that they used to say that he was the greatest of all-time.
World Superbikes now is a lot like MotoGP in that way; if you aren't on a top bike you're not going to win races and it doesn't matter who you are. For Alex going there on something that isn't a top bike and to put it top four on his first test it can only be good for him and BSB because it shows how hard we're able to ride.
Looking back and comparing last year to your three title years how has going up against Alex, who's 15 years younger, compared?
Alex rides on a lot of enthusiasm and bravery and I ride a lot on knowledge. I know that if I do my job well enough on Friday and Saturday that I'm going to be there or thereabouts on Sunday. To me the age thing is just a number and I'm still just as stupid as I was when I was 21!
I'm probably enjoying my racing more than I used to because to ride as hard as we've had to this year to eke out a race win has been fantastic. At the end of the day if BSB titles came on the back of Frosties packets you'd probably be champion! It's a tough class and a tough life and you have to work really hard to reap the rewards.
Looking back on your career how do you view the evolution of BSB and Superbikes in that time?
I think that the best thing that the organisers did was introduce the control ECU. I think that if World Superbikes want to have some close racing and some fair racing that they need do exactly the same.