Here we go. The most important nine races of my career starting at Indianapolis on Sunday. There’s no point in hiding the facts, I have to perform at these next few Grands Prix to secure my future in MotoGP. It’s down to me and me alone and I’m really up for it.
I’ve had a good rest, the injuries apart from a few scabs on my shin and little finger have cleared up and I can’t wait to get back on that M1 Yamaha at the ‘Brickyard’ this weekend.
During the break I had plenty of time to think about those first nine grands prix, where we went wrong and - most importantly - about the mistakes I made, the crashes that were unavoidable and the crashes that were definitely my fault.
I took a long hard look at our whole structure and it’s down to me to lead the guys in a more balanced and less emotional way. My future with the Monster Tech 3 Yamaha will be decided in the next three or four races and MotoGP, like all other international sports, is a results driven game. I’ve quickly got to start transferring my pace in practice and qualifying into race results. It sounds so simple but, as I’ve shown in that first half of the season, it’s not.
The break was great, with eight days down in the Cote D’Azur in France really re-charging the batteries. I’ve never had time to look around the area before and enjoyed sightseeing plus some time on the beach, but no more than a couple of hours at a time with my ginger hair!
Surprise surprise I planned the little trip just when the Tour De France happened to be coming through. We watched a fairly flat stage but found we were staying in the same hotel as one of the major teams. I sat in the lounge pretending to read the newspaper but watching just how meticulous and planned their whole preparation is for each day. It was brilliant to watch and hopefully I learnt something.
I also managed plenty of motorcycle riding to keep my hand in. Trials bikes at home in Andorra, some mini dirt tracking in Aragon with Kenny Noyes, Simon Crafar and Jules Cluzel and then to my parents’ home in Oxford for some good old fashioned motocross.
While back in England I went to the British Superbike Championship meeting at Thruxton. To be honest I was not sure just how the British public reaction would be after that disappointing first half of the season, but they were brilliant.
Of course they all wanted to know what was going to happen next year but their support and interest in three 40 minute autograph and selfie session was such a boost for me. They are all coming to Silverstone to support the British riders in three weeks’ time. It promises to be a great Grand Prix, just as it was last year, and just keep your fingers crossed for some more good weather.
The British Superbike Championship was fantastic and what a great job they have done with all classes and at all levels of funding. There is certainly plenty of British talent about and l would like to think we will see some of them in action in the MotoGP World Championship in years to come.
The highlight for me was Georgina Polden’s third place in the 125cc class. I’ve known Georgina and her Oxfordshire family for a long time and we’ve been motocrossing together. Despite her lack of experience at that level she was tremendous and definitely one of those British riders we could see joining us in the next few years.
Thank you to everybody at Thruxton for your support and belief. There is nothing I would like more than arriving at Silverstone in three weeks’ time with two good results at Indianapolis and Brno.
A new contract in my back pocket for 2015 would make it the perfect journey home.