How did your race in Macau go?
I came home second which was a good result, I got on the podium. I had a good race with Steve Plater. I qualified third, Michael Rutter was on pole and Thomas Hinterreiter was second, I was third and Steve Plater was fourth. I was looking for a good race; I got a good start, got to the front, Steve past me, I got him back, then Steve past me. It was a good race, real hot pace at the front just reeling the laps off.
I broke the lap record on lap thirteen which is good for me as usually by then I'm knackered and out of breath! Last year I was really out of shape and finished sixth and really didn't enjoy it. This year I enjoyed the race and Steve did the business – fair play to him. He was a bit loose but that is Steve Plater, he clipped a wall a few times but he did a fantastic pass on two back markers on the last lap going into the hairpin. There was no way I was getting through, I wouldn't have even attempted it but Steve did and he pulled it off.
He did the business and won it. It was nice for me, I did a 2min 26secs flat, took 1.7secs off the lap record, so going into winter now I can sit back and know that I can still ride a big bike. I got the lap record there, Lap record at the Ulster, Lap record at the TT on the big Superbike so yeah I'm happy.
Are you hoping to stay with Honda for next year?
I don't know at the moment. I'm still contracted to Honda until the end of the year, I'd love to stay with Honda to try and be an ambassador for Honda and carry on doing what I'm doing. But it looks like Honda hasn't got the budget to do the TT so that is fair enough. We all knew that and we knew it was going to come, maybe get a little bit of support from somewhere along the line but I know Clive Padgett will do it with me. I haven't agreed anything with Clive yet, it is probably looking like I'll do something with Clive.
At the NEC bike show I rallied around trying to speak to a few people but I don't know, I want to race, I still want to ride, I'm still as sharp as I have ever been since I was twenty one. I'm not getting any younger but I still feel good on a bike, I'll be there on something, a bike of some shape or form, doing the North West, the TT, Ulster again and Macau. It'll be alright.
What do you think of the changes to the TT - running the smaller bikes on the Billown circuit?
I'm a little bit disappointed but at the same time a little bit encouraged. If it was on the TT Mountain circuit, I'd be jumping through hoops to get a 250 and I'd be on the grid there is no question about that. To be 13 times TT winner and one of the favourites to win a TT, then to go and do a 250 TT in an orange novice vest in practice at the Southern 100, I think devalues everything I've ever worked for.
I'd look a bit of a nugget in an orange jacket. I mean you've got to go and learn a track. To be fair I wouldn't know if the Billown circuit went right, left or straight on. It is nice to get 250's back on the Island and I'm sure they will fill the grid. If I'm not riding in it I'm sure I'll be there supporting the event.
We'll see, all I have to say to Clive is, “Shall we go do the 250 race at Billown,” and it will not be a problem at all. I have to be careful with what I'm doing, with more support races over the TT, two 600 and two Superbike and the Superstock race, that is five races which is probably enough in the week. I like the two race 600 format; it gives you a second bite at the cherry if you have any problems. It was defiantly the most exciting race and the closest race of the week anyway. If we get two races like that then let's have it.