Earlier this year, I bounced around quite a bit looking for something permanent that would keep me active in the racing scene here in Europe, and around the world. I worked with Kenny Noyes, who was racing in the Spanish National Championships (the Buckler CEV, Formula Extreme category, and also some endurance racing at Albacete), wrenched on Yamaha R6's in the Losail National Championships (five races in Doha, Qatar), partook of the WSBK tests at Valencia working primarily with Australian Josh Brookes (WSS) and the Ducati NCR Superbike team (who were fielding Roberto Rolfo this season), and also managed to do some work as a journalist and photographer for Road Racer X Magazine, Svensk Roadracing, and several others, including various websites (like mine!).
I've taken planes, trains, buses, and even "hitchhiked" in order to get to the races, and the same drive that pushes me to be involved with racing has allowed me to meet and befriend many people within the WSBK and MotoGP paddock. Eventually, I was hired by Luis D'antin to join Pramac D'antin MotoGP, his World Championship team, and I wrenched and learned all I could while working on Alex Hofmann's Desmosedici "Sat".
The 2007 season is already underway, and after the week of Valencia tests following the last race of the year, I've come back to Barcelona to rest up and prepare for the next phase in my evolution. I won't get into specifics at this time, but my training begins on Monday, in Bologna, Italy. That's right - I'm headed to the source - the Ducati Factory and home of Ducati Corse! I haven't officially signed my contract for next season, and while there are options on the table, I've decided that it would be best to continue working with my team, and in particular, my chief mechanic and technical director, Emanuele Martinelli. We've worked so hard this year (2006), trying to find the motivation and passion that was hard to come by with this season's package, and next year promises to be even better! WIth a new Ducati GP7 800cc machine, two fantastic riders, Alex Barros, and Alex Hofmann, and Bridgestone tires, we're definitely looking good! But, the package works only if everyone involved is as committed and dedicated as the next person, and for this reason, I want to do everything in my power to see that we're as successful as possible! People often forget that a team is more than the bikes and the rider. It's a unique combination of personailities and skillsets, and in this arena, where we live and travel together some 200+ days a year, it's critical to establish the best combination of everything. That's about all it boils down to. We are making a better family, a stronger family, and in the context of machines, we're switching gears so that we can go all out in 2007!
Click here to be taken to a rare interview I made with Anthony Gobert earlier this year. This article was nixed at the last moment, when Anthony was let go from his Coronas Suzuki team for "personal reasons".