I got the opportunity to ride the R6, unfortunately I had to ride injured as I'd broken my foot and it was quite a bad injury but I still managed to finish on the podium. Fortunately there were only a few left hand corners because I couldn't lean on the footrest. The Yamaha was at such a high level and suited me from the get go.
It was a career changing ride, a lot of people didn't want me to take it as my foot injury was quite bad but I knew the bike was so good that I could finish on the podium and I knew I had to. It was just as well I did because it opened doors for me in Supersport. It was funny looking back because the organiser wouldn't let me take a crutch onto the podium and I'm grimacing at the pain.
I couldn't ride with a broken foot, how do you do it?
There's plenty of riders who play up to it, pretending that an injury is worse than it is and then they're heroes. Other riders like Leon Haslam just get on with the job and people don't realise how bad the injury is, he's got a terrible break and he's out there riding. On the R6, I'd broken my left foot and I had broken toes on the right as well but they weren't giving me any bother, some riders would have claimed to have been in agony from both feet though.
So what's the worst state you've lined up on a grid in?
Last year at Philip Island race two was the worst ever. My clutch hand was broken in five places and was pretty smashed up and I'd opted against surgery so that I could race. In race one I'd been heading for a podium finish before having a technical issue and when I lined up for race two I was being sick and they couldn't get enough fluids into me. It was a horrible race, really one of the toughest.
I didn't push it to race because I was worried that they'd get a replacement rider, I did it because of the championship and if you lose momentum at the beginning, it's tough to get it back. I wanted to fight for the title and that's why I was out there.
Do you think a 600 is a better racing bike than a 1000?
On the street 600s are OK, on the track though the 1000s separate the men from the boys. On 600s you've only got corners, you don't have to worry about the straights because they're flat out. The 1000s have so much power that what were straights on a 600 are no longer straights and you've got a lot more to deal with.
The reason for the close racing in 600s is that the skill of the riders comes out less, in 1000s you've got far more variables to deal with which separates the riders more.
For WSS I guess memories of the incredible 2010 Imola battle against Kenan Sofuoglu still keep you warm in bed?
Yeah, that was the toughest race I ever had to take part in. I learned a lesson that day in that in the post-race interview I explained how my left arm had become completely numb and that I'd been racing with one arm and was slammed by the fans and media for making excuses as to why I lost the race.
If I'd won the race and had said that I would have been a hero so I learnt that day that if ever you lose, don't give a reason because it'll be seen as an excuse, you can only complain on something you win. People say they want to hear the truth, but they don't want to hear it, they want you to take full blame for losing and that therefore you're a d*ckhead. That's what I learned that day.
Race wise, I couldn't believe my luck on the last lap at still being there. When Kenan was in front he was lapping 2s a lap faster and when I got in front, because I couldn't feel my arm, I was slowing him up. If Kenan had known what pain I was in, all he had to do was string a few laps together and disappear.