Change of Heart

[IMAGE 1] Back in the July 2003 Issue of TransWorld Motocross, we did a special feature on racers who’ve run the number 13. At the time, Sebasien Tortelli reported that he was unafraid of the “jinxed” number and would continue to run it through the end of his career. TransWorld Motocross went riding with Sebastien at Lake Elsinore MX Park this past Sunday, however, and learned that the Fast Frenchman has had a change of heart.

“I am no longer going to run number 13,” said Tortelli, who was mounted aboard his new SuzukiRM250. “When I signed with Team Suzuki, Roger DeCoster and also Bobby Moore at OMS (Tortelli’smanaging company) asked me to please change my number.”

So what number will Tortelli run in 2003? “I am going to run 103,” said Sebastien. “I know thatpeople will think of Chad Reed at first, but remember that I won my first American Supercross back at the Los Angeles Coliseum in 1998. Also, 103 is like 13, but with a 0 in the middle!”

Tortelli looked right at home aboard the new Suzuki, though we have to admit it was strange seeing him on yellow. “I like the new bike a lot,” said Tortelli. “So far we;ve only done a little testing in SX and outdoor, but I like it a lot so far. The chassis feels a lot like my old Kawasakis did, before I rode for Honda. The frame is not as rigid as the Honda, but I think that will be good for me.”

Tortelli said that he, 250cc World Champion Mikael Pichon and Stephane Roncada would definitelybe racing this weekend’s World Cup of Motocross at Glen Helen Raceway.