Chucky talk us through your experience with KTM in Europe? How was life living in Italy?
It was a massive change for me going from living in country Victoria, to moving to Bergamo Italy, just about an hour north east of Milan. It was a good town with good people, good food and luckily for me the team was based there so I at least knew a few people off the bat. I was also lucky that I had fellow Australian Matthew Phillips living just over an hour away, we knew each other before I moved over and became close during my time in Italy. I didn‰Ûªt speak Italian but I did pick up the language a bit but I used google translate originally when I got over there, but by the end of it the hardest part was committing to speaking Italian without sounding different which is hard with the Australian accent.
My experience within the team was made easier as my mechanic and the team manager could speak fluent English, so we could communicate. The results didn‰Ûªt quite go the way I had planned, and a few other things went against us in the end but looking back at it now it was such a good experience riding in different countries and experiencing different parts of the world. I am so glad I went over a took the opportunity to race in the World Enduro GP.
Now obviously the decision to come home was a tough one, is this a decision you made on your own? And what was the reason behind wanting to come home?
The decision to home came from me being in a really bad place, I made the decision to come home on my own as I just wasn‰Ûªt feeling comfortable in the environment or on the bike. A lot of people have their opinions and say that I just couldn‰Ûªt adapt because of how I am, but they don‰Ûªt have the answers and until you go over there and experience what I experienced and deal with what I had to deal with, you won‰Ûªt know. I was quite disappointed in what they offered and their way of going about things, look if I could have taken my team from 2016 here in Australia over with me, I would still be over there racing and potentially winning world championships.
I struggled with the fact they weren‰Ûªt open to testing and changing things, I would suggest a change and they would say not possible, that frustrated me. But in the end, it‰Ûªs not just the bike and team, its everything together, all the little pieces that make up the puzzle.