It's pissing down at the moment but I’m still packing up my dirt bikes and heading out. Why? Because I’m 15 stone and if I don’t shed a bit of weight I’m not getting a Mugen. (As I said last month, they’re going to give me one to keep if I can slim down.) I’ve been out loads in the last two weeks and backed off a bit on the eating but nothing is happening. I need that winter virus, the one that turns your arsehole into a tap. A few years ago I got pneumonia and shed a stone and a half in 10 days, which would be handy now... I’m not a chocolate fiend or anything and I spend most days out on bikes or rushing around, but when I’m home I’m flat-out in the fridge all night. Last year I saw a shrink to shed a bit of weight, which worked for a bit, but now the face-feeding has me in its grips again. I don’t see what losing weight will do to my performance, but I am making an effort. At the end of the day I’m not blowing out of my arsehole after a TT, I just look a bit red in the face, but I suppose my weight is one of those things that has always hung over me during my career.
When I retire I might ask myself, ‘Could I have done better?’ I’ve had a decent run so far but I suppose we all want a six-pack. At the moment my hair is falling out, my teeth are turning the wrong colour and I’m packing a few extra pounds – but the bottom line is I can still race a bike. Mark Webber reckons he has a plan for me; he is probably pissing in the wind but we will see.
Speaking of Webber, I have to mention the Valencia MotoGP, which was amazing. Webber, Martin Brundle, Dougie Lampkin, Johnny Walker, Jason Plato, Adrian Newey, myself and a few others chipped in and hired a private plane from Luton to get there. They are mainly car guys, but all massive bike fans and Valencia was the place to be – especially if you were a Rossi fan. I had to sit on the fence a bit as although I’m sponsored by Monster and know Vale, I’m also a Honda rider. The only person who knows if Marquez got a brown envelope full of cash from Jorge is Marc. We will never know, but you have to hand it to Lorenzo, he did a bloody good job and at the end of the day you simply can’t fight with Rossi away from the track.
When it comes to social media and PR he is the master – if he said a dog shit was red everyone would believe him. Vale winning would have been a fairytale, but he shouldn’t have booted Marc off in Sepang! I don’t blame him for doing it, but you can’t expect to get away with it. Before Valencia I was in Japan riding the Mugen with a bunch of journalists. I had to give a presentation and they handed me a piece of paper with a speech on it, which doesn’t really work for me. I’m much better winging it, but that would have been hard for the interpreter. As it was I have no idea what he was saying anyway... probably talking about the size of my cock.
I had the weekend off and Hirotoshi Honda came and picked me up. He is the son of Soichiro Honda and he took me to Mr Honda’s house. There are pictures on the walls of Mr Honda with Ayrton Senna, Wayne Gardner, Freddie Spencer, Steve McQueen and even Pele, while the house is a lovely traditional Japanese affair. They are going to turn it into a museum as in Japan you can’t hand a house down to your kids when you die. That’s why they all live in such small houses.
Despite being 72 years old, the next day Hirotoshi cycled over to meet me again and did 25 one-handed press-ups in front of me after taking the piss out of me about my weight! He is very funny, quite sarcastic, and great fun to be with. We ended up getting a bullet train to Hamamatsu to the Yamaha museum. No one had a clue who we were and afterwards we went to the Suzuki museum, which is just up the road. What a mega day out! The journalists rode the Mugen at Motegi. It was good to hear their comments, but I did laugh at some of them. When I hear someone say it’s not that fast I just think, ‘Try running it flat-out down Bray Hill’. Mugen could make it do 200mph for 10 minutes, but it is designed to do 37 miles at an average of 119.279mph, and it is bloody good at it.
Once I get back from off-roading I’ll be packing my bag and heading to Macau for the GP, which is a great end to the season and something I haven’t missed since 1998. I’ll never get bored of it and although the circuit is a bit wild and the field pretty strong, I’ll do them all in the bar afterwards! Although to be honest I’m looking forward to getting home and spending time with the family. We are taking the kids to Italy over the festive period – that’ll screw the diet up. The Italians love cheese and creamy sauces and that’s my weakness. Last night the hunger chimp told me there was a lump of brie in the fridge and I had nailed that by the time I went to bed...