Already the 10th of January, where does time go these days? Must be a sign of getting older. Having said that I can honestly say I’ve never had as much ‘Want’ as I’m feeling for the 2018 season. The Wilvo Yamaha Team has set a strict schedule for this year and personally I’m locked-and-loaded to use every energy cell my body can produce this year. Probably this feeling is elevated by the fact that 2017 was one of my worst seasons to-date with back-to-back injury mid-season.

After a solid three week break and holiday of a lifetime at the end of October in New Zealand I got back to the grind on the 1st day of November. It’s interesting the to explore your mindset on the first day back at the gym: this time for me it’s was tough – quite a few chinks in the armour as they say – but after a couple weeks we were making good progress.

Usually I take quite a break from riding but this time I opted to get back on the steed around the end of November, again feeling rusty I started getting the laps under my belt again, actually feeling surprisingly rejuvenated from the break I’d had away. New Zealand is the first holiday that’s opened my mind, life is a rat race and it’s so easy to get locked down with your work but the world is an exciting place. Let your mind open up and good things will happen. It’s not all about the short goals.

Before I knew it we’d had 7 weeks in the gym and 4/5 weeks riding. Feeling like I’d made some steady progress with my physical duties and got some solid bike time in the pocket Rachel and I headed back to Scotland for Christmas not feeling too guilty about indulging in the odd mince pie and pint of beer. Christmas at home is something I always enjoy, time with the family, presents… cake…. but somewhere in the back of my mind it’s the final corner before the start of the new year, the final speed bump before letting off the brakes and going full chat in to ‘beast mode’.

New year, new me and all that, plenty of BS flying about at this time…but one thing is for sure I’ve got my eyes on a prize and I’m reaching out for it. It’s gonna be tough, there will be hard days, easy days, long days but one thing I know for sure is that I’ll be ready for it… and when we get there it’ll all be worth it. Hard work, works.

Another ‘new’ element was Jeremy Seewer joining us, as most of you probably saw. So we’re now two Swiss and a Scot! I’ve always got along with Arnaud and Jeremy’s pretty much in the same mould: a friendly, laid-back guy and easy to be with and work with. It will be just as interesting to watch how he goes in his rookie GP season in the premier class as much as it is to see how Arnaud can progress in his second. With seven seasons to my name on the 450 I’m an early leader!

Stay tuned for another update coming soon, I’m off to Sardinia with the team for pre-season testing and I’m raring to go and get more solid laps on the chart and everything dialled in. Good times lay ahead. I’ll keep you posted… Thanks for reading… & yeah, Happy New Year!

SS24

Photos by Plons