Photos by Emery
The pits at any given Supercross event are massive, and we admit it: We don’t always make it to EVERY corner of them. So to change that, whenever we can at the races this year we are going to do our best to scour the far corner of the paddock to see who’s hanging in the corner pocket. This week in downtown San Diego, we met a French racer named Dimitri Rolando, and you can read on to learn more about him!
Lets start this off with your name, age, and where you’re from.
I’m Dimitri Rolando, I’m 26 years old, and I’m from France.
Where exactly in France?
I’m from Bordeaux, the wine country!
Tell us a little bit about yourself, is this your first time racing in the states?
It’s my second time racing here. I raced here last year too, and I made a night show in Santa Clara. So I’ve been living here for one year with my trainer Yannig Kervella, who’s an ex coach of Arnaud Tonus, Marvin Musquin, and Darryn Durham. It’s pretty fun, and I like it!
So this is called corner pocket. You’re back here in the corner, and it’s not bad at all – the pits here are always tight everywhere!
[Laughs] The corner is good! I mean, at least I found a spot to park and I don’t need to pay to park. It’s pretty chill, I think I have a good spot because it’s in the corner and I kind of have some space. I also have a security guard to take care of my bike – it’s pretty nice!
And this is your truck here?
Pitting out of your pickup, I love it. That’s awesome.
So where do you stay in California?
I live in Corona with my trainer, close to the Kawasaki test track.
Where do you usually ride?
I usually practice at Elsinore, Pala, Milestone, and Hemet.
Friends you ride with?
I ride with Killian Aubertson, who’s from Switzerland. He trains with me. Sometimes I train and ride with Ryan Surratt, who’s a friend of mine. But I usually ride with Killian, because we have the same trainer.
Do you have a plan of how long you’ll stay in the States?
Yeah, I’d really like to stay here because I really like the California mentality. In the motocross industry and even in real life I really like it here compared to France, it’s totally different. So yeah, I would really like to stay here – it’s just really hard with the visa and all of that but I am trying really hard to find a way to stay here. I have a tattoo on my arm of California, and it’s not even my home country flag! I really like California and would love to live here.
What’s your race number so people can find you?
Number 962 on a Kawasaki.
Who helps you out?
So I am sponsored by Champ Factory, they help me along with Dunlop, 100%, Bell, Motorex, FMF, Renthal, Works Connection, Piston Bones does my graphics kits and he’s really helpful – if you need graphics kits go to them! Also RXR Protect, which is an inflatable chest protector.
A lot of Europeans run those!
Yeah, and even Japanese guy Joe Shimoda who’s training with my trainer. He rides for GEICO. The plastic ones are only for rocks, this one is also for a crash. It’s like an airbag for your body.
So you’re in the 250 class?
How did Anaheim One go for you?
It was good, like I didn’t make the night show but I didn’t ride two and a half weeks before the race because my engine was getting prepped. I expected to be tight, but I was smooth and just missing a little bit of speed. So we will see today how it goes and hopefully today I will make the night show!
Sounds good, good luck and thanks for doing the interview.
Follow Dimitri on Instagram: @dimdim962
*Editors Note: Dimitri didn’t make the night show in San Diego, finishing qualifying in 47th. Look for him in Anaheim to cheer him on this week!