Christophe Pourcel is very much a rider who can control his own destiny. Without question the most talented rider in the FIM World championship, watching Pourcel on a circuit is at times even more enjoyable than watching the great Stefan Everts on a bike. Pourcel has that amazing technical style, but he is also a little flashy, doing things we just don't see often in a rider. What seems to be the problem with the 2006 World MX2 champion though is his lack of taking up the challenge.
At the start of the season when he arrived back from America (injured) he looked slow and not the same rider who showed touches of genius in 2006. Having won a round of the AMA Lite Supercross championship in February, the whole world sat up and took notice. That win in America was probably the worst thing that could happen to Pourcel as he started thinking about his 2008 season (where he would race in America) and he forgot about the job at hand (the 2007 MX2 World championship).
He has been said to be difficult and I have to admit, when I asked Christophe for this interview he first said simply "No, I am too busy." Despite his seemingly lack of interest in talking with the media, I still find him a likeable kid, and he did come and find me later on the Saturday of the Grand Prix of Bulgaria and ask if I wanted to do the interview. What Pourcel has is his own agenda, and it does not matter who stands in his way, he will still stick by his own beliefs (not arriving for the press conference on the Saturday of the French Grand Prix didn't score him any points with the series promoters or the press).
We sat down with Christophe Pourcel and asked him about his battle to find form this year and also his future.
MXLarge.com: Christophe, you really seemed to struggle at the start of the year. Was it difficult to find the motivation after doing so well in America at the start of 2007?
Christophe Pourcel: At the beginning of the season it was difficult for me to be concentrated on this goal (of winning a world title), but now it's okay. I work really hard with my team and I am training more and playing on the bike, now I go to the races to win. My condition is better and better, it's going up. I am never 100 percent on the bike, I never ride 100 percent, I usually ride around 80 percent because I don't want to take risk and get injured. I didn't have any extra pressure this year, I can relax and when you are on the bike you can enjoy it and that makes it fun.
I am more technical on the bike (than Cairoli), if I have a good condition, then I can ride easier and I can race for 35 minutes and not be tired at the end. He (Cairoli) worked really hard in the winter, and that is why he is so strong. But it is good to have somebody who is stronger, because that means I have to work harder on the bike and that is good for me.
He (Cairoli) told me he slowed down in France so you could catch him and make a race of it, what do you think of that?
I think he wants to do the same thing as me (laughing). It does not motivate me that he does that. I wasn't good on the bike (in France), so I didn't feel good, and I also have this on my hand (showing me a big blister on the palm of his hand). The hand was okay in Bulgaria, but at the end of the race in France it was a problem. I just finished second, second is not so bad, but it's okay.
I won't do an AMA National this year; I have a two year contract for America for 2008 and 2009, so I have enough time to prepare for racing there. I will go there for two or maybe five seasons, I don't know yet. I don't know about the Motocross of Nations. The men from the French Federation asked me about it, and I made a proposal to him. I don't know, if they take my proposal, then I go. I don't want to go for nothing, my team pays for everything and it's not good to go there for the pleasure. What I can do on my bike and if I can beat them American riders or not, it is okay for me.
What about some european supercross races?
I might do Bercy, but it is not sure. I leave for America in November, I will have one month just relaxing in October before I start working hard for the 2008 season.