Lucas Berthoux (team Lilian Ruelle) achieved victory and claimed his title of French Champion in Supermoto S3 category on Sunday. This was the end of a tough season where his competitors maintained a lot of pressure. Lucas gives us his impressions about the season, and also about being selected to represent France in the junior team for the upcoming Supermoto of Nations in Portimao (Portugal) on 7 October.
Hi Lucas, and thanks for agreeing to spend some time with us. So first of all, French Champion – how do you feel about that?
I am only just starting to realize… The last race was a bit tough, and so I was not certain. I was second behind Germain [Vincenot, team Luc1], and I was trying not to take unnecessary risks. Then I was pushed in the last lap by a rider who had nothing to do there. Honestly, as I crossed the finish line, I did not know if I had the title or not. My Dad confirmed it about 10 minutes later. And then it was tears, overwhelming joy, it was hard to believe! At the end of the season, winning this title is just awesome.
But you did prepare for it, didn’t you?
Yes I did, of course, I trained and I worked out. After winning the first two races (Villars Sous Ecot and Magny Cours) I started to realize that the title was within reach. As we arrived in Colombiers for the last race, I was 14 points ahead of Maxime [Lacour, team Blot] in the standings, everything was still possible. When I took the pole position in the timed qualifying sessions, it gave me a lot of confidence; I said to myself « now just get on with it » and from then on I just did not stop. And that was it!
So what comes next? At the beginning of the season, you told us you were also studying at the same time, can you manage both?
After finishing my undergraduate degree in June, I have decided to go further, and so I am starting again on 17 September in Bourg en Bresse. I hope I can manage both studying and riding. I am really motivated and so I will not give up riding easily. If all goes well, I should ride on a 450 for the 2013 season. If I really cannot manage both, then I will give up riding; but I do not see this happening.
If Lilian [Ruelle, team TLR manager] is up for it, then I’ll sign with him. If he stops, then I’ll see. At the moment, it is not 100% certain.
And you were selected to represent France for the Supermoto of Nations…
Yes – the Nations are another great opportunity! Serge [Tison, French Moto Federation representative for Supermoto] called me and told me I was selected. It’s just awesome! Now I’m going to train in Carole with Maxime, to try out the tyres and the 450. We’re going to train to do as best as we can.
I have no idea though why Fred [Guerin] is not part of the team ; he was an obvious choice – he already did the Nations, he’s been riding a 450. If it was down to me I would have chosen him, and then two other riders – whether it was Maxime, Germain or myself matters very little, in this case the main goal is for the team to win the junior title. But other than that, the trio is great. We get along really well, so it’s really good. All three of us are really into this, and it is going to be awesome to ride along the best!
Do you have an opinion about the future of supermoto in France?
To improve things in supermoto, I think we need more money and media coverage. But this is obviously not easy to achieve. At the moment, French supermoto is not covered by any TV channel, and of course it makes it difficult to convince major sponsors. In terms of organization, there’s no problem for me. I heard there’s a problem in the 450 category about allocation of points, but we’re not concerned.
To conclude, I would like to thank sincerely all my sponsors. A huge THANK YOU to Lilian, and to my mechanic Xavier (team TLR), who have been trusting me for years. Thank you also to Franck, Adrien and Waren for their really good advice. And I would like to thank also my parents, my friends and family who came to support me, sometimes from really far away.
Lucas, thank you for your time. We’ll keep our fingers crossed for you for the Nations, and for the future!