I enjoyed the summer break immensely. We spend so much time travelling that it was nice to spend a few weeks at home. I left Silverstone a very happy man after two rostrum finishes but on Monday I received the bombshell news that I was without a job for 2012. Yamaha Europe made the decision to withdraw from the World Superbike Championship at the end of the season which was devastating for the entire team. With Marco and I looking to remain with the team for next season both sides of the garage were fired up for a title challenge but unfortunately the state of the world economy has hit our sport once again.
Upon receiving the news I thought it a good idea to travel to Brno to visit the MotoGP paddock. I’ve been in talks with Herve Poncharal and I’ve made no secret of the fact that this would be my number one choice for next year if the opportunity arises. Tech 3 Yamaha are in my opinion head and shoulders above the rest of the privateer teams and on top of that I feel really at home within the Yamaha family. With MotoGP switching to 1000cc next year it would be the perfect time to make the jump to the top class. For now though my focus is on the final four races of the World Superbike Championship and I haven’t given up on 3rd in the championship just yet. We’ll need eight strong finishes to have any chance of chasing down Max or Marco so I’ll see what I can do.
During August I’ve tried to spend as much time at home as possible. I’m a real home-bird and didn’t fancy hopping on another plane so Pippa and I headed to County Wexford in Ireland for a few days break just to unwind. We’ve travelled all around the world yet we’ve barely visited anywhere in the south of Ireland so we decided to explore the Emerald Isle a little more. Aside from that we’ve been doing our fair share of gardening at home. I always seem to have a spade in my hand attacking the ground which is surely man’s favourite role in the garden!
My brother John has made it back to Northern Ireland and he’s currently in the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast. He’s making great progress and he’s already months ahead of where he should be. He’s hasn’t stopped working on his rehabilitation since the moment he was able and it’s a real testament to his character how well he’s recovering.
I’m off to Germany tomorrow and I’m aiming for another double podium. Johnny Rea will be returning after injury so I expect him to be back in the mix at the front. The line-up of riders in WSB is so strong this season but Carlos has had the edge on us all so far. He’s going to take some stopping at the last few rounds as he’s very strong on all four circuits. I’d like another few wins before the season’s out so I’m sure hoping I can stop him!