Yeah, yeah. Nicky, you were just telling us about the sharing of data between yourself and Casey. That leads me up to my next question, which would be the way that Casey sets up the bike, do you find it helpful to yourself, or do you prefer to have your own settings?
A little bit of both. Some things that works for him won't work for me. But there's other times where he'll come across something that works, and it'll work for me. You've got to row your own boat, to a degree. But with the limited amount of track time we have this year and last year, even, you use every bit of information you can get.
I know since you've been in the championship in 2003, there's always been at least one other American, I believe. But it seems like in the past, the American riders have been at kind of different levels for different reasons. Whereas this year, you and Ben and Colin all seem to be at the same, very close on levels. I'm wondering how big of a deal it is to be top American that races in the championship. I know you got the best of those guys at Qatar.
Ah, you know, a bit. But not really. But there's a lot more going on than worrying about being the top American. Fortunately, this year top American, you're not doing too bad. Everybody is going fast. But yeah, any rider who don't admit to it is lying. Sure, on race day, you want to be top American, top Ducati, top everything. So, sure, I'm not wanting to get worked by any Americans or get worked by anybody else, for that matter.
Nicky, this whole situation with the Japanese Grand Prix being canceled due to the unpronounceable volcano continuing to spew ashes on and off, has that made you think of being located in the U.S. and living in the U.S.? Have you thought about coming over to stay in Europe for the period the circus is in Europe?
Yeah. Once the season really gets rolling and we start having back-to-backs, sure, I'll be staying in Europe like pretty much every other year. But after Qatar, it was just as easy to come back home. But yeah, once we get going and once Ducati starts and Marlboro sending me on PR trips and have to do some real work, then, sure, I won't be coming home. But I'm not going to plan my life around a volcano, and that sort of thing.
Another question about the engines. You've got six engines to last you the year. I presume so far you've really only rolled out two in Qatar, one in each of your bikes.
Yeah, correct. One has one lap on it. The other one is … I don't know. I haven't worked the numbers, but it's still got a long way to go before we get to put in a fresh one.
So you're really going to work through your engines sort of sequentially, one at a time, rather than switching them in and out?
No, not necessarily. The team has a plan for that. On some weekends, I'll ride both bikes. But it so happened in Qatar, we had tested there; we pretty well had a pretty decent setup. And actually just had one bike working good, and I didn't really ever roll the other one out except Sunday morning. I say Sunday morning – Sunday at about 8 o'clock at night – just to do a lap to make sure it ran good in case I needed to jump on it for anything. But no, we'll be using, most tracks, be using both bikes a lot more frequent.