I was making a pretty decent living there, not the standards that you might see in WSBK or MotoGP but certainly comfortable. The wages you got might be comparable to a doctor's and when you're 18 years old it's mad.
It's a bigger sport in the continent but it's the same as anything in that if you're at the top of your game in any sport the rewards are much bigger and you start getting all the bonuses and you start getting the sponsors so it all starts adding up massively. It's a very fine line between getting nothing and doing well. I didn't get a lot but I did a good few years at reasonable money.
Road racing was always the goal but I didn't have the funding and I was chasing a world championship where I was. So at the end of each year it always got to 'What shall we do' and it got to the point where we decided 'Right, now's the time, let's move'
I got into SM as a stepping stone but it was that enjoyable and that good that we stayed in it longer than expected
Do the skills you learn in SM transfer well to circuit racing?
I don't for one second class one of those years as wasted because it's such a good platform for learning race craft and bike control so I don't think I could have been better placed for learning racing.
For bike control it's fantastic because a Supermoto bike can get very loose and you can sort of play with it. A circuit bike is far more on a knife edge whereas on a Supermoto you can slide it around and play with it under power so you're not afraid of it when you encounter that on a more rigid road racing bike.
All the time you're in a race you're learning race craft anyway, it's just something you pick up. A lot of racers when not on the circuit will ride Supermoto and Motocross and I don't know a better place for learning bike skills.
Reading through your career you seem to be continually breaking your wrists, how often have you done it?
Oh, about twice per side. But I had one really bad one, I had a really bad break in 2008. It was actually at BSB where I was riding in a junior Superstock race just to see how I'd go. Everyone was saying that at Snetterton you have to be careful of the left hand side onto the start finish because the tyre gets cold, and they were right, all of a sudden I was flying through the air.
The doctor at the circuit actually said that I might not be able to ride a bike again because of the injury but 4 weeks later I was racing the British Supermoto round and won with a cast on. When I took the cast off though I realised the extent of the injury and went through an awful lot of painful physio. Now it's not perfect but it's rideable and ever since then I've always ridden with a brace on.
So you got into circuit racing quite late?
My first circuit racing was actually with an Aprilia Tuono in Thundersport. It was really enjoyable and we were all doing it for a bit of fun. KTM also gave me a ride in the KTM cup which was run at BSB events. I also had one round Superstock 600 and put it on the front row and a year later on a Superstock 1000 where I'd never seen the bike before but jumped on it to finish 6th, if anyone came past me, I just followed them.
Would you say that your heart is still in Supermoto?
I don't know about my heart being in Supermoto, but I'm definitely an off road sport person. I'm more interested in that side of things, there's a lot less show involved. People just get on with it. In road racing there's a lot of stuff that doesn't really need to be there and a lot of people who talk too much and that kind of bores me a bit. In the Motocross paddock, which I'm used to, everyone's down to earth and you can crack on with things.