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.

Draw leaves Michael Appleton nonplussed

Oxford Mail:

1:00pm Monday 22nd December 2014

Michael Appleton thinks only time will tell if Oxford United’s 1-1 draw at Hartlepool United was a good point or a missed opportunity.

Oxford United fans' chat

Oxford Mail:

11:58am Monday 22nd December 2014

Have your say on the main talking points at Oxford United in our 60-minute interactive discussion for supporters.

VIDEO: Highlights from Oxford United's draw at Hartlepool United

Oxford Mail:

11:00am Monday 22nd December 2014

OXFORD United came from behind to draw 1-1 at Hartlepool United on Saturday.

Jake Wright says a point was all Oxford United deserved

Oxford Mail:

9:00am Monday 22nd December 2014

Jake Wright admitted a point was all Oxford United’s performance deserved as they took almost an hour to find their feet against basement side Hartlepool United.

RACING: Bradstock praises Flintham

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Monday 22nd December 2014

Mark Bradstock believes Ascot winner Flintham could be even better than his illustrious relatives Carruthers and Coneygree.

Danny Rose urges Oxford United to tighten up defence

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Monday 22nd December 2014

Danny Rose says Oxford United need to kick the habit of conceding the first goal in games after they again had to come from behind, drawing 1-1 at Hartlepool United.

FOOTBALL Didcot denied victory by ten-man visitors

Oxford Mail: Luke Carnell heads Abingdon United ahead during their shock 2-1 win against Sholing

8:00am Monday 22nd December 2014

Didcot Town extended their unbeaten run in Evo-Stik Southern League Division 1 South & West to 14 matches, but only after coming back two goals down at home to draw 2-2 with ten-man Bridgwater on Saturday.

FOOTBALL: Brave Banbury thwarted by late goal

Oxford Mail: football generic

8:00am Monday 22nd December 2014

Basement club Banbury gave Evo-Stik Southern League Premier Division high-fliers Chesham a big fright before having to settle for a 1-1 draw.

Cook and McNish double up as North Leigh rout Wantage Town

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Monday 22nd December 2014

Jamie Cook and Callum McNish both scored twice as free-scoring North Leigh added to Wantage’s recent misery with a convincing 5-0 victory in Saturday’s Evo-Stik Southern League Division 1 South & West derby at Alfredian Park.

RESULTS: December 20-21

7:50am Monday 22nd December 2014

Oxford Mail: Ox Mail senior football wob

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