... I hope you're not suggesting that I gave Cal an infection?
Yeah, I saw him using the inhaler but I'm not aware of him being ill - I think that it's a nerves thing with Cal.
I've noticed that he's very tense before the start of a race and often dashes to the loo at the last minute. Sure, he's like many other riders in that respect, but Cal appears to be extremely anxious before a race and his angry gestures on the grid at Misano when the race start was aborted showed him to be in a very highly charged state.
But who could blame him? Cal knows that he is vulnerable at the start of a race and, by his own admission, starts have been his biggest weakness all year. Cal appears to get off the line reasonably well but just seems to freeze going into the first corner of any race - always getting passed and always failing to cash in on his brilliant qualifying positions.
I find it strange that a fast, aggressive rider like Cal is so cautious - almost timid in his approach to the first corner. He seems to ride 'tight' and gets pushed around easily by other riders - Cal doesn't assert himself.
However, once the first lap or two is out of the way, Cal seems to relax and his riding appears to become more natural and instinctive - he pushes hard.
But by then, the leaders have usually gone and Cal often finds himself behind the faster starting Dovi or having to fight back from a mid-pack position - which places him under additional pressure and can lead to mistakes.
I'm sure that if Cal can improve his starts then his confidence will grow which will lead to an improvement in his general race performance. But his conversation rate of just one podium from seven front row starts must begin play on the mind a little.
Breathing is adversely affected by nervous tension, so perhaps Cal was using the inhaler in an attempt to combat the effects of pre-race stress?