MCN’S 20 QUESTIONS
‘I wonder how some drivers get out of bed in the mornings’
Q1 What are you riding right now?
A 1980s vintage Harley-davidson FXR with a Screamin’ Eagle engine back home in Australia that I use to cruise to the beach and to set off car alarms! I’ve also got a Triumph Daytona 675 and an old Triumph T120 650 Bonneville that I’ve been trying to restore for the last four years but still isn’t finished.
Q2 Which living motorcyclist do you most admire?
Mick Doohan and John Mcguinness. Doohan was the hero when I was younger so I always looked up to him and I look up to Mcguinness massively because of what I do now – he’s just had such a great career at the TT.
Q3 What’s your worst habit?
I sleep too much. I can sleep right up to five minutes before a race – just like Bruce Anstey. I’m half Kiwi so maybe that’s got something to do with it. It never affects me on the bike though.
Q4 If you could have one superpower, what would it be?
I’d like to be able to freeze time and rewind it to relive great moments.
Q5 What’s the fastest you’ve ever gone on a bike?
The telemetry on my Smith’s BMW S1000RR Superbike showed 206mph on the drop from Creg-ny-baa to Brandish at the TT a couple of years ago. That’s a much faster stretch than the Sulby Straight, where they set the official speed traps. You’re actually rolling off at the point where they measure top speeds on Sulby Straight.
Q6 When were you last scared?
Coming into Donington Hall in the pitch dark one night (Norton has its HQ in the hall and Johnson stays there – ed) it felt like someone tapped me on the shoulder. I almost had a heart attack! I swear that place is haunted.
Q7 How many miles have you done in the last year?
Not a lot. I do ride in Australia but it’s just cruising around or nipping down to the beach, never very far.
Q8 What’s the highest mileage you’ve covered in one day?
On a bike, only about 250 miles. On an aeroplane, over 10,000 miles!
Q9 What irritates you most when you’re out riding?
Drivers who can’t drive! I see some
people on the road and wonder how they managed to get themselves out of bed in the morning – they’re useless.
Q10 You’ve got two weeks off – where are you going?
First I’d fly somewhere warm and then just ride to a beach and pitch up there for two weeks!
Q11 Got one pearl of wisdom for new riders?
Do a few trackdays and learn your limits before you find them on the roads by riding too hard.
Q12 Ever fallen off in a car park (or somewhere equally embarrassing?)
I once got about three metres onto a track and then highsided. I was barely even out of the pits. It was at Mcnamara Park in Australia and I was 17 and racing a 125. I was giving it loads of revs as I came out onto the circuit then dumped the clutch and it spat me straight off.
Q13 Do you have one indispensable item of kit?
When I’m racing I always wear a lucky necklace that my mum gave me. And at the start of every season I always get some lucky undies and lucky socks. In fact, this year I’ve actually bought seven pairs with the days of the week written on them because people said I was a smelly b*****d for always wearing the same pair of pants and socks.
Q14 Which four people would you invite on a Sunday blast?
BSB racer Billy Mcconnell, because he’s a bit of a loose unit. He rides pretty funny on the road too. My dad, Murray, because he’s got a collection of classic bikes. Mick Doohan so we can talk s**t, and Australian actor Eric Bana. I’ve met him a few times and he’s a funny guy.
Q15 Do you have a tool you couldn’t live without?
My shifter. You Brits call it an adjustable spanner. You can’t go racing without a shifter.
Q16 Do you adjust suspension?
Yeah, no problem.
Q17 If you could have one of your old bike back, which would it be?
My Honda CB125 piece of s**t that I first started racing on. I’m trying to buy it back. I know who’s got it and they know I want it so they’ll probably charge me top dollar. I’ve already got my 125 GP bike, which was my second race bike.
Q18 Which bike would you never buy?
One of the new Royal Enfields. I like the old-school ones but not the new ones.
Q19 Which road (or track) would you build on your desert island?
It would be a mixture of Phillip Island, the Sachsenring and Thruxton.
Q20 If you ruled the world, what new law would you pass?
No speed limits on any roads!
‘Someone tapped me on the shoulder – that place is haunted’
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