Why bikes and not cars?
Cars have less kick than bikes do because even though they have matching speeds, cars have a slower pick-up. It would take a car seven to eight seconds to achieve optimum speed, but a good race bike takes only three seconds. Lately, I tried cars again in Sepang. And they’re still too slow!
Would you say you’re macho?
I don’t really think “macho” is the word, because for me danger is an accepted part of the sport. I accept that I can get hurt when I race. I accept that I can die on the track. Of course at the end of the day you need guts. If you have fear, this sport is not for you.
Are you afraid of big burly Harley riders?
Why should I be? I first rode a Harley two years ago, after 26 years of riding sports bikes. And that’s when I realized why people ride Harleys—it’s a totally different aspect of riding. It’s a lifestyle. Ninety-nine percent of Harley riders just want to cruise around and have fun. I see myself riding a Harley in 10 years when I’m 60. My friends and I like to tease our Harley friends—they can go fast but they can’t stop in time!
If there’s one thing you’d like to say to car drivers, what would it be?
Improve your driving! Frankly, I think most of our drivers are not competent. I think what they learn while they’re getting their licenses is not sufficient for their day-to-day driving. I sit in taxis and I don’t know how they drive! They’re always braking, and they can’t change their gears properly! How you conduct yourself on the road is important to me, because I train my riders to be fast and smooth.
Would you EVER spray your bike pink?
No! I had a black and pink helmet once, and the guys used to laugh at me. The thing is if you’re wearing a black suit, it’s okay. But black is my jinx color. Every time I wear all black I crash!
What do you think of the ah bengs who mount speakers on their bikes and play loud techno music while they ride?
I don’t have anything against that, but I don’t understand it. Riding itself is so much fun. Music is a distraction because you have the wind factor. Music mixed with wind becomes noise. If I want music, I wouldn’t want the wind blowing around.