Mickael Pichon is the current 250cc World Champion and rides for Suzuki:
TransWorld Motocross: I’m with Mickael Pichon, current 250cc World Champion. How do you feel about Hawkstone today. Have you ridden Hawkstone before or is this your first time?
Mickael Pichon: I rode Hawkstone last year and I was not so lucky either. I hurt my finger last year but I like the track, I like the course itself. It’s really nice and today was a pretty hard day for me, I had surgery a couple of weeks ago and I was really tired after the first race. It was a tough day, but I could see that the bike is really strong and my confidence is pretty good but I know I still have to work a lot. The next coming weeks I’m going to have to be riding a lot and training to be ready for the first round of the Grand Prix.
TWMX: So basically it was the recent appendix operation that was giving you hassles?
MP: Not really, on the last race, yes, because I had some air in my stomach from the new kind of surgery they used and I had aches in my sides and my shoulders. The first moto was ok, I was just a bit tired and the second moto I was completely dead and it was a tough second moto and I pulled off.
TWMX: How did you enjoy Southern California. I know you were out there and you wanted to race some supercrosses, you wanted to race Anaheim and then San Diego and that obviously didn’t work out with your appendix. Did you enjoy your time out in California?
MP: Yes it was good, we had nice weather which was good for training but the first race I had bad luck and I was supposed to go to a second race and I was training really good on the track and I had some good times, but two days before the race I got sick, really sick and I had to go to hospital over there and I wasn’t able to ride. Then I had to go back to Europe really quick to get the surgery done before the GP’s, so it was actually shorter than it was supposed to.
TWMX: Are you planning on going back to Southern California next year for training beforehand to do some supercross?
MP: That’s still too far away. I have to get ready first for the GP’s and when the GP’s are over I will see what I will do.
TWMX: In the new format they’ve decided to put the 450 four-strokes into the same class as the 250’s, who do you think is going to be your biggest competition this year?
MP: Well, as you can see, Stefan seems to be fit and ready already a month before the first race, he’s been winning many races, so I think he’s going to be the main competition. For me it is good because I have nothing to lose, he’s six time World Champion, so if I can beat him it’s fine and if he beats me I have a good excuse (laughs) because he’s so good. I will do my best, I’m pretty confident. You know, in the first moto he was not that much faster than I was, I was really tight from the beginning, I haven’t been riding for two weeks. We’re going to be working on the bike a little bit more, so my confidence is pretty good but for sure Stefan is going to be the main competition and I don’t want to forget some of the other guys, I don’t know what Joel Smets is going to do, or guys like Coppins and James Dobb and Pit Beirer. All those guys are going to be strong, so I don’t think it will only be two guys, but it’s going to be more than this, we will see, but I know it’s going to be a tougher year than last year, and I’ll be ready for it.
TWMX: In the 125 class, who do you think might move up to the 250 class next year, who looks good, do you have any specific favorites?
MP: Coming into the 250 now?
TWMX: Now, yeah, or in the near future?
MP: Well, I don’t know, Ramon is going to be pretty good contender in the future, ’cause he’s really good, is really fast and has a good technique, but I dunno, de Reuver is vvery fast also, and you never know, you know? Those guys are all young and when they are coming to the 250s it will probably take them more than one year before they get to the top because they have to learn, but by this time I will be retired (laughs). But we will see, usually when the guys from the 125 come into the 250, when you are the best in the 125 you are with the best in the 250, and they are young and they will be pushing, pushing us out, but we will see. Right now we are all old guys (laughs)
TWMX: Thank you very much for the time Mickael, we do appreciate it. I hope you have a really good year this year and good luck.
MP: Thanks a lot.