Mickael Pichon: "I have to feel the rush of adrenalin"

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Micka Pichon will be riding at the Mettet VOO Superbiker on 19, 20, 21 October, with team Luc1. He now rarely expresses himself publicly, and it is with great pleasure that 17pouces.net is giving you this exclusive interview. Mickael’s career is a reference for generations of riders in France and abroad. Twice World Motocross Champion, twice US 125 Supercross Champion, several times French Champion in MX Elite and in Supercross – what more can we say about the talent of this exceptional rider? He talks to us about his recent news, his projects, his objectives for Mettet, and his uncompromising view about the current state of motocross and supermoto.



Hi Mickael, and thanks for spending some time with us. So what’s new with you?
I haven’t given any news in some some time. The last piece of news on my web site goes back to February 2011. At the end of the 2011 season, I crashed badly during a training session, and I broke 5 vertebrae and several ribs, so I was off the bike for 4-5 months. Shortly after that, our third child (a second boy) was born. Actually, in 2011 I missed the Mettet Superbiker because of this injury. And yet Mettet was really important to me, I like to ride there.

This year I raced a little, in MX, but it was still a fairly quiet year. I am less keen on riding, especially in MX – I have been at it for over 30 years, and it’s starting to take its toll.

You are going to ride in Mettet with team Luc1, how did this happen?
The guys at Mettet called me and asked if I would ride, and I’m really looking forward to it. Frankly, I really like supermoto. I did some when I was young, and it was cool. Mettet is an opportunity to do this with a lot of pleasure , and not too much pressure.

Of course, I could ride more in supermoto. But when I race I like to win, and I never really had the opportunity to do it properly. With Ludo [Ludovic Lucquin, team Luc1 manager] it would be possible – we talked about it several times. Even if we have known each other for a very long time, we are going to work together for the first time, and I am sure everything will be fine. And it could give us some ideas for the future!

For a few years I had been going to Mettet by myself, I found a mechanic, I prepared a bike; but I don’t have the time or the motivation to do it like this any more. At the same time, we had been talking about this with Ludo – we have known each other forever, when I was 13-14 he used to ride on a 500. I know he runs a very professional team in supermot, and to me it is an opportunity to go to Mettet with a lot of confidence and no hassle.

We are going to do one or two days of training with Sylvain [Bidart] and the other guys from the team. Even better, I still have sponsors, and for 95% of them they are the same as Luc1’s, so it is ideal.

Do you give yourself specific objectives for Mettet ?
In the Superbiker category, riders come from every discipline – road, motocross, offroad – and we are roughly at the same level, so I would like to win ! I won every time I raced there so far. And then you get the superfinale with the supermoto riders; there I generally do between 3rd and 5th. One year I was actually leading in front of Lazzarini, and two laps from the end I crashed; I will never forgive myself for this… I lost the podium, but also a fat check – 6000€! I made a rookie mistake, I came back 4th, and could not catch up.

At teh time I rode a lot, And I did a lot of road racing too. I rode at 24h of Le Mans, and soI was really comfortable with supermoto. These days I ride a lot less, so if I could do between 5th and 10th it would be good – and maybe a podium or even a victory in Superbiker. We’ll see!

I also won in Tours twice [Indoors Supermoto], so even if I do not race a lot, I am fairly confident. Maybe I will need some riding and training to get back.

Can you say a few words about your projects?
For the future, I am starting to slow down on the bike side; I have other projects, for example next year I am going to open a gym. I am starting to open up to things other than the bike, even if of course I will never leave these circles entirely. I have been riding bikes more or less since I was born, I am now 37, I am still passionate, but I want to do other things as well. I will do a few races every year, why not in Supermoto. I would like to help a few young riders too. I would also like to spend some time for myself and for my wife – we have known each other for 20 years, and so far it has been bike, bike, bike… Now we would like to do something else.

But of course I cannot be without a bike for long, I have to ride once in a while, and I have to race – I need to feel the rush of adrenalin! So Mettet will be great. This year I have only done 4 races. Some years I used to do 40, it is a big change.

Now the question of racing in supermoto later is complicated.

Why complicated ? What do you think of supermoto these days ?
I think there were very good years for Supermoto, but that was in the past. Nowadays, it is not that simple, it is less inspirational than it used to be. You hear very little about Supermoto, you do not see it on the main TV networks, it is a shame. Motors-TV used to brodcast all the main Supermoto races, but it is gone. One of the reasons is that Youthstream has sucked all they could financially out of the discipline – and they are doing the same to Motocross. At the beginning, they offered big bonuses to attract riders and teams, and then bonuses disappeared, and now riders have to pay big money to race. So of course it’s less attractive… In the past, you could achieve something with talent and little money, now you have to bring a lot of cash with you. It is not very good for the discipline, but everybody accepts it. Apart from the riders, everybody finds their interests in this. But it certainly leaves behind a few very good riders.

I do not think I would ever have got to where I am now with the current system, simply beacuse my parents would not have been able to afford something like 30.000€n for the team, and entry fees of about 10.000€… At the time, qualifications were on how fast you could ride, not how much you could pay. And then if you were fast, you would get bonuses so you could go on riding! Everybody agrees with this in the paddocks, but nobody does anything about it.

So this is why doing an entire season is less than certain, but why not do a few races…

Mickael, thank you again, and we look forward to seeing you in Mettet ! Good luck !

More info about the race in Mettet at www.superbiker.com

Photo by Mickael Pichon

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