“There's no need to get worried or caught up or get bummed about not racing,” he reflected of the Japanese round being re-scheduled, “because you can't control it. You know, I'm a racer – we had to wait long enough for the first race, and then to have [an unexpected] two-week break seemed like another month, but if you couldn't get any riders or teams there then it would have been hard to have a race!
“They did the only thing they could do, and we'll go to Motegi at the end of the year and do three in a row. That can be a grind if you pick up an injury or get sick, but on the other hand when you fly all the way to that side of the world, it's pretty easy to just do them back-to-back. I like back-to-back races.
“[For Jerez] I'm feeling confident. I know I have a great package – a great team, a great bike and a lot of good people around me. I've had a couple of decent results at Jerez – including a podium – but it's not like 'wow, it's a great track for me'. The atmosphere at the race is awesome, though – I think everybody loves MotoGP there.
“We're confident, but not over-confident. We know it's going to be hard; the level now in MotoGP as you can see is so high – it's taken a big leap and all the boys are serious. We tested at Qatar a couple of weeks before the race there and came back with the same set-up which made things easier, so from that point-of-view Jerez is going to be a big challenge. Something I struggled with last year was getting up-to-speed early [during a race weekend], but I hope this year we've got a better base package and that I can go fast out of the gates on Friday. I'm looking forward to the weekend for sure to see what we've got.”
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