I could finish in seventh on the Stiggy and feel satisfied because I'd got the most out of it, but even a second place on the BMW could be disappointing because I might have got more. I was really happy with my guys at BMW, but there was always tension because we knew we could win and the expectations were high.
I never felt that I was riding the bike as hard as I could because any time I did push the bike like I wanted to it would always bite me and I'd crash. That can knock your confidence. It did the same to Marco at the end of the season when I think he crashed out in 6 out of the last 7 races when he had to try a little harder.
By the time the end of last season came I was quite happy that BMW were pulling out factory support because it made my decision to leave so much easier.
There were discussions for me to go into the Goldbet team but by that time I found the division in the team too hard to work with. Also I wasn't enjoying my racing and was getting injured too much. I felt that I wasn't gelling with the BMW the way I did with the Honda or Suzuki. I still socialise and get on with the whole team though.
Did you feel that you had the same gear as Marco?
We definitely had the same equipment, it's just that a modern bike revolves so much around the electronics. I'm certainly not pointing any fingers at anyone; the situation was just rather political and awkward.
Did you get on well with Marco?
We weren't pally, pally and socialising every weekend or anything, but we had great respect for each other and that still remains. When I crashed at Assen, Marco came straight around to check if I was OK
From the outside it looked a bit as if your results went down a little after your coming together with Johnny and Marco at the last corner at Donington?
No, not really, I re-damaged my ankle and had a nightmare weekend in America afterwards but I beat Marco in both races in Italy after that and we had several other podiums in the season. Looking at the races after that, there was never one where I felt I should have won because there was always something out of my control that happened.
The exception was Assen where I crashed from a 10 second lead because I was pushing too hard in the rain. That was 100% my fault.
As regards Donington, it was Marco who instigated that. He just went in 15kph faster than he had ever done before and ran wide, which gave Johnny the idea that there might have been an opening for a pass when there wasn't.