My future's on the line as British GP approaches

Talking bikes with Georgina Polden in the garage ahead of her race at Thruxton

Talking bikes with Georgina Polden in the garage ahead of her race at Thruxton

First published in Sport Oxford Mail: Photograph of the Author by

There is nothing I would like more than arriving at Silverstone in three weeks’ time for the Hertz British Grand Prix with two good results at Indianapolis and Brno in the bag.

A new contract in my back pocket for 2015 would make it the perfect journey home.

I’ve had a good rest. The injuries, apart from a few scabs on my shin and little finger, have cleared up, and I can’t wait to get back on that M1 Yamaha at the ‘Brickyard’ this weekend.

During the break, I had plenty of time to think about those first nine grands prix.

Where we went wrong and most importantly about the mistakes I made, the crashes that were unavoidable and the crashes that were definitely my fault.

I took a long hard look at our whole structure, and I decided it’s down to me to lead the guys in a more balanced and less emotional way.

My future with the Monster Tech 3 Yamaha will be decided in the next three or four races, and MotoGP, like all other international sports, is a results-driven game.

I’ve quickly got to start transferring my pace in practice and qualifying into race results.

It sounds so simple, but as I’ve shown in that first half of the season, it’s not.

The break was great with eight days down in the Cote D’Azur in France really re-charging the batteries.

I’ve never had time to look around the area before and enjoyed sightseeing plus some time on the beach, but no more than a couple of hours at a time with my ginger hair.

Surprise, surprise I planned the little trip just when the Tour de France happened to be coming through.

We watched a fairly flat stage, but found we were staying in the same hotel as Team Sky.

I sat in the lounge pretending to read the newspaper, but watching just how meticulous and planned their whole preparation is for each day.

It was brilliant to watch and hopefully I learnt something.

I also managed plenty of motorcycle riding to keep my hand in.

There were trials bikes at home in Andorra, and some mini dirt tracking in Aragon with Kenny Noyes, Simon Crafer and Jules Cluzel.

Then it was back to my parents’ home near Oxford for some good old-fashioned motocross.

While back in England I went to the British Superbike Championship meeting at Thruxton.

To be honest, I was not sure just how the British public reaction would be after that disappointing first half of the season.

They were brilliant – of course they all wanted to know what was going to happen next year, but their support and interest in three 40-minute autograph and selfie sessions was such a boost for me.

They are all coming to Silverstone to support the British riders in three weeks’ time.

The British Superbike Championship was fantastic and what a great job they have done with all classes and at all levels of funding.

There is certainly plenty of British talent about and l would like to think we will see some of them in action in the MotoGP world championship in future years.

The highlight for me was Georgina Polden’s third place in the 125cc class.

I’ve known Georgina and her Oxfordshire family for a long time and we’ve been motocrossing together.

Despite her lack of experience at that level, she was tremendous and definitely one of those British riders we could see joining us in the next few years.

Thank-you everybody at Thruxton for your support and belief.

The most important nine races of my career start at Indianapolis on Sunday.

No point in hiding the facts.

I’ve got to perform at these next few grands prix to secure my future in MotoGP.

It’s down to me, and me only, and I’m really up for it.

Brian Howard's future at Oxford United up in the air

Oxford Mail:

2:00pm Friday 19th December 2014

BRIAN Howard’s situation at Oxford United is unclear after head coach Michael Appleton admitted he did not know whether the midfielder would be offered an extension to his short-term contract.

Piri Weepu returns to London Welsh starting line, but will play at fly half

Oxford Mail: London Welsh are staying at the Kassam

12:33pm Friday 19th December 2014

PIRI Weepu returns to the London Welsh starting line-up for tomorrow's Aviva Premiership fixture with Saracens at Allianz Park (KO 3pm).

Ashby's Oxford United debut is a matter of timing - Appleton

Oxford Mail:

12:00pm Friday 19th December 2014

JOSH Ashby is good enough to play in Oxford United’s side right now, but the teenager knows his time will come, according to head coach Michael Appleton.

Worried Hartlepool boss compares Oxford United to Real Madrid after scouting trip

Oxford Mail:

9:40am Friday 19th December 2014

RONNIE Moore is braced for a tough first game in charge of Hartlepool United after comparing opponents Oxford United to Real Madrid.

Oxford United striker John Campbell is keen to make his mark at Hartlepool

Oxford Mail:

9:30am Friday 19th December 2014

John Campbell admits it would be difficult to keep his kit on if he was able to make an impact on debut for Oxford United tomorrow.

Interactive match preview: Appleton and Hylton on goals; Moore likens United to Real Madrid; Howard's future; Ashby; club stalwart departs + video

Oxford Mail:

9:34am Friday 19th December 2014

Get ready for kick-off with our interactive preview of Oxford United's trip to Hartlepool

Barren run in front of goal not affecting Oxford United's top scorer

Oxford Mail:

9:10am Friday 19th December 2014

THERE were times earlier this season when it felt like Danny Hylton was scoring in every game, but Oxford United’s top scorer is not getting weighed down by a sudden barren run in front of goal.

Appleton puts faith in his poachers to improve Oxford United's goal return

Oxford Mail:

9:00am Friday 19th December 2014

FINDING a predator to turn dominance into goals has been an Achilles’ heel for Oxford United this season, but Michael Appleton is hopeful two candidates will emerge over the festive period.

Oxford United lay on three free supporter coaches for Hartlepool trip

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Friday 19th December 2014

ABOUT 150 supporters have taken advantage of Oxford United’s offer of free transport to tomorrow’s game at Hartlepool United.

FOOTBALL: North Leigh boss Mark Gee is wary of Wantage threat

Oxford Mail: North Leigh boss Mark Gee is confident his side will be stronger next season

7:30am Friday 19th December 2014

North Leigh boss Mark Gee admitted he is ‘wary’ of struggling Wantage Town as his side travel to Alfredian Park in Division 1 South & West of the Evo-Stik Southern League tomorrow, writes Matthew Bruce.

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