It is a fine line and someone like Colin, who is in the twilight of his career, can probably afford to do so. Whenever the press room hears that Colin is in the press conference it is always a full house and he rarely disappoints! Not a smart move for up and coming riders, as you should never bite the hand that feeds you. There are other ways to express your character, which has certainly done Valentino no harm over the years.
Scott Redding and Andrea Iannone have been testing for Ducati. Would a satellite Ducati ride in 2013 be the right move for them?
Yes. Both riders have proved their worth and qualify in my book for the top class. Scott might not have won a race in Moto 2, but he has constantly beaten his team-mate [Mike Kallio] who was once given the chance in GP, so I would love to see him step up.
Indianapolis next and a very different circuit to Laguna Seca. Which do you feel is MotoGP's 'natural' US home?
Both hold their own special place in the GP calendar. Laguna has probably the most iconic section of track - the Corkscrew - in the whole championship, and seeing the bikes at full speed down to turn one at Indianapolis is also pretty amazing.
Personally, my favorite is Indianapolis because they run the whole event so professionally and smoothly. They have an amazing group of people managing the track and these are the people who hold a race for 450,000 spectators in the Indy 500.
In addition, they have the Indianapolis museum which is worth the visit for that alone. The downtown activities make it a fully packed three days and a well worthwhile long weekend. If you can get down there, then I fully recommend it.
Back to your question, I hope that both stay firmly on the calendar for years to come and that both hold the right to being the natural US home to GP. There's constant talk about Texas, but before any decision is made there, I would suggest that we see how F1 fares in November before considering changing a good thing.
What possibility is there of Aprilia and Kawasaki coming back to the championship? And what news of Suzuki is there in the paddock?
There was a mass of rumours floating around Laguna Seca after Spies announced he was leaving. BMW in WSBK, or Suzuki coming back with Schwantz at the helm. The latter is certainly mouthwatering, but I believe it is a little premature.
My hope is that 2014 sees Suzuki come back, and hopefully, this will prompt Kawasaki, Aprilia and maybe persuade BMW to step up. It doesn't work in other forms of motorsport with a lack of manufacturers - look at WRC where, at this moment, there are eight Fords following two Citroens.