I'm absolutely delighted to have finished the season as champion once again, but, as you know, a lot of work goes into winning the title. It's not just the work of the Honda technicians and the team on race weekends, but also what we do every single day. One thing that helps us riders stay in shape is cycling, and Box Repsol wanted to ask me about my cycling trips
I go out on my bicycle quite a lot both during the season and the rest period. Sometimes I cycle on the roads and others on the track, and I often go out into the mountains. I love cycling because I can go with my brother Álex, and sometimes more people come along and it turns into a sort of social gathering. I like cycling with others, it's always great to go with people, and when you're in a group you make more of an effort and are more competitive. Sometimes you meet other cyclists along the way and join them for a while, it's really nice. We've even bumped into some other riders before.
Sometimes it's good to cycle alone and take your mind off things, but I prefer to go with a group as it's much better for my training. We don't race, though. We never know who is going to win between me and my brother. Sometimes we pick up the pace towards the end of a long cycle to see who has the winning edge and more energy, but we're pretty equal and there's not much difference between us.
When I choose a route, I make sure it's demanding as I almost always cycle as part of my training. It's a fun way of keeping in shape, and I'll normally choose a route with some good views. There's some great ones close to where I live, I've even made one myself. Cycling trains your body, builds your resistance, and strengthens your heart. You've got to be in good shape for a regular MotoGP race, as they are very physically demanding. Then you've got races like Malaysia that really push you to the limit. The fitter you are, the less you notice things like the heat, so you can focus more on riding the motorbike.
I've not considered competitive cycling, although I have been to some events. This year I took part in an event with Oakley, but it was just for fun. I might think about competing more seriously in the future, but it's not something I'm focusing on. Motorbikes are more fun!
As for the equipment you need, first and foremost a helmet! The helmet is the most important, followed by sunglasses. And obviously, you need a good bicycle. I've got a few different road and cross-country bikes from Specialized. They're customized, so they're a bit different to what people normally use, but nothing out of this world. During the season I use my mountain bike more as it's my favourite, but I also use my road bike.
If I could give you one piece of advice, it would be to wear a helmet! Apart from that, just go for it! A lot of people worry about how far they can go or how fast, but as long as you're going out and getting a bit better with every ride, you're doing great!