I have a new girlfriend and we are having a great time together. Her name is Sidonie Sheene and yes, she is the daughter of the great Barry Sheene.
Sidonie is a couple of years older than me and keeps me in check. The nice thing is that because she is from a racing family she knows what I am going through and is very supportive of my job as a pro motorcycle racer.
We went to Dubai together for Christmas and it was brilliant. My family is not really massive over Christmas and as I was growing up we spent many of them away on holiday so it was not strange for me to go to Dubai.
It was great with Sidonie and I chilled out, played golf and relaxed for a whole week which was just what I needed before 2012. She will be coming to some of the races in 2012 with me and I’m looking forward to that.
I spent the New Year at Paula Smart’s wedding and then it was into serious training for the new season. I am now training twice a day, trials riding three times a week and playing more golf.
Winter is not the best time for any racer (we want good weather and to be riding) but I am now really looking forward to getting back on my bike – a Bogdanka PTR Honda for 2012. It is essentially the same bike and team as 2011 so that is really good for me and means I do not have a huge amount to learn and can be up to speed quickly.
I am writing this as I sit in Manchester airport waiting to fly to Almeria in Spain for the first test of the year. For the first morning I will simply be getting used to my bike again and back up to speed. By the end of the second day I should be in much better shape and ready to go to Australia and get on the pipe.
I’m looking forward to meeting my new teammate Mathew Scholtz from South Africa. I don’t know a great deal about him but the whole PTR outfit has four new riders in 2012 – Ronan Quarmby, Martin Jessop and PJ Jacobsen are all joining us at this test so there will be new people to meet and I think it is the strongest line-up we have ever had.
It is an exciting time for all of us and just over a month to go before the racing starts!
Catch you again before the racing.