There's definitely more politics in circuit racing. I'm very happy to do publicity duties particularly for my sponsors and the team but maybe when you get to the higher levels it may get too much. I'm good friends with Eugene Laverty and I know that he has an awful lot of press activities to do, at my level though I haven't experienced that.
People who come from an off road background are just much more down to earth and in the road race paddock there can be people who are only there to big themselves up and there are people out there you've got to be careful of.
So did circuit racing come easy to you?
Relatively, yes but there are some very big differences with off road riding you can have more fun with the bike but circuit racing is more mentally taxing. You have to be much more accurate and switched on in that respect. I went straight into BSB in 2010 but for me I was perfectly happy to be there and there was nothing untoward so I just cracked on.
So how did you make the big step up to a WSS factory MV?
It was a dramatic step. 2010 was my first full season circuit racing, I went straight into BSB and was happy with the kind of lap times I could put in but things went a bit wrong with who I was riding for and everything and in the end my season was pretty much non-existent.
I did some rounds on Superbikes and pretty much any bike available to jump onto. It was a very difficult introduction to the paddock and the extra politics. I think there's a lot more money, set up and mechanics involved and you get much less chance to prove yourself.
The following year I got in with TAG Triumph who were pretty much exactly what I needed, they're a family team that put a great organization together. They gave me a good base, didn't put any pressure on me, didn't ask anything of me and by the end of the season we were consistently on the podium.
To be fair when I got into road racing I had pretty much a 3 year plan to win the championship so I was disappointed in myself that I didn't win it. We had a slow start, a few bits of bad luck with bikes and a few mistakes I made personally. The end of the season was amazing though and we weren't out of the top three I think for the last 9 or 10 races, had some lap records and a couple of wins. We ended the season on a high but things were still uncertain for this season.
I then did a Supermoto race out in Italy, the Simoncelli one, with Rossi and Dovi and all those people.
And did you beat them?
Well, that's what I was excited to see, not really if I could beat the road racers because that should happen anyway but basically all the World Supermoto paddock were there too and it was them I wanted to pit myself against. I didn't know how much speed I would have lost. Every year since I left Supermoto I've raced the last round of the British Championship and won but the British level isn't world level so it was the first time I got to pit myself again those contenders. I was excited about that and luckily I qualified first and my team finished second. It was nice to know I still had it!
It was a team event and Dovi's team beat us by four tenths of a second I think after over an hour of racing. We beat Rossi's team into third which was nice. It was nice to share a podium with him and that's probably the first and last time that's going to happen. It's got to be said that he's a cool guy.
And continuing with how you got the MV ride...
At that event was Giuliano Rovelli. Giuliano set up his team in WSS racing Triumphs a number of years ago and when he did he took two of my mechanics from Aprilia Supermoto.