That was back in the 500 days when I first got started and everybody was getting flipped to the moon. I followed most of those guys and was friends with Lawson, Schwantz and Rainey and I see how broken those guys got and I just knew that 32, 33, 34, that's probably all you want to do. That's probably all your body could handle really.
Once they changed to 4 strokes in MotoGP though, it definitely extended your career expectations. We had a little safety net there.
The idea of retiring doesn't frighten me. I've been traveling Europe since '95 and that's 20 years. For me retirement just means going home and spending more time with the kidos and my family. Would I miss it, sure, but at the moment I'm still having fun.
Did Marco Simoncelli's death make you reconsider that?
You know, it can also happen at home with a big old truck, a lorry can pull out and drive right over you. We put ourselves at a calculated amount of risk and sometimes freaky sh*t happens, you can't control everything.
That was tough, hell it was tough on everyone. He was one of the bright young stars. I would say that the three guys that seemed to have some pretty good charisma in the paddock were me, Valentino and him.
We all three had to come together and one of us didn't walk away. It didn't settle well on anybody, it's racing motorcycles, and it sucks.
If your son wanted to be a racer, what would you say?
He can do whatever the hell he wants to do, my dad supported me and I'll support him. It doesn't matter if I say yes or no, he'll probably do whatever he wants anyway. Fortunately he's out of the bike thing at the moment; he's playing baseball and soccer.
As the time goes on do you feel you have to train any harder?
I don't have any regimented gym time where I've got to go this day or that day. Recently my wife was training for the triathlon so I trained with her, I just stay fit.
My daily routine is more taking the kids out in the boat or playing baseball in the yard.
Now that everybody's running on Bridgestones rather than the Michelins, the bike's got a lot heavier and we had to figure out how to make the bike light turning again because they're getting pretty strenuous.
I think too much of an obsession with training is more a brain thing. Some guys have this brain thing where if they haven't trained for a week or missed a certain day, they turn up at the race track thinking 'I missed that days training, I'm not as fit as I could be' and they've already set themselves up for failure.