500-cc World Champion ― 1993
‘I’d just get in front at the beginning of the race and as soon as he passed me, I’d do what he does when someone passes him — just catch him at the next corner, stuff it up the inside, whatever it takes. or, maybe, I’d keep everyone bunched up, try and incommode him and wait for him to make a mistake.
‘then there’s the mind-games… I always used to play tricks with Wayne [rainey] before the race. I’d go up to him on the grid and say, “Hey, man, are you ready to go?” I could see him thinking, “Get the hell away from me! Don’t bother me! I’m trying to concentrate!” So, that’s what I’d do to marc, but I’d have a harder time doing that now because all the riders have those little barriers around them on the grid.
‘When I was racing, if I’d been as intense as Wayne, I’d be dead by now. I’d never have eaten, I’d never have slept. the intensity he brought to racing — you could see it, you could feel it on the grid. I just had to be as light-hearted as I could be about it. Hey, it’s only morning warm-up! Hey, it’s only the sighting lap, so don’t get all nervous yet, because we’ve still got another lap to do before this thing starts!’