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5 Minutes With... Christophe Pourcel

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Monster Energy/Pro Circuit Kawasaki’s Chrisophe Pourcel might just be a supercross phenom in the making, like some other past French racers. He has now raced in four AMA Supercross events, and won three of them, finishing second in the other (to Ryan Villopoto). At Atlanta, he was gifted the race win in a way, when his teammate Austin Stroupe stalled in the lead. We talked to Pourcel after the main.

Racer X: To win two in a row to start your season, obviously it couldn’t be going better than that, could it?
Christophe Pourcel: Oh, yeah, for sure, I’m happy. I don’t have the words to say how happy I am.

When you were chasing Austin Stroupe in the opening laps, it looked like you were chasing him pretty hard, but then he started to get away, and it almost looked like you gave up...
He was really fast at the beginning of the race, and I was pretty surprised about that. He did the triple on the track that was pretty dangerous, and I didn’t really want to do it, so he made up time there and he was riding really good. Then, after seven or eight laps, he caught a lapper, and then I found my speed in the whoops – I found a pretty good line – and I began to try to catch him, but then he made the mistake for me, and it was really easy then, to win the race.

So you had luck fall in your favor this time, unlike last time when you just led the whole race to win it.
I think I was really good in the whoops, and then maybe I could catch him after one or two laps, after his mistakes. I was doing good and I wasn’t tired, so I think I could’ve caught him, but he stalled, so we’ll never know.

Coming into this race, the guy who finished second to you at round one – Brett Metcalfe – got hurt in practice. So you actually started with a little bigger points lead right off. Did you think about that at all?
I was just sad about what happened. I don’t really like to see any rider crash and break something. He crashed just behind me in the first practice, and then they told me that he broke his collarbone, but it didn’t matter to me because I’m just focused on the championship, and focused on the race. But when he got injured, it upset me. It didn’t make me happy.

Obviously, you have supercross pretty well sorted out – especially considering how many times you’ve raced it in America. You’ve raced it five times, maybe?
Four or five...

Did you race after Phoenix in 2007?
I hurt myself.

So you raced two in 2007, and won one, and then you’ve raced two so far this year, and won both. You’re three for four.
Yeah, I’ve raced four, and I’ve won three...

Is it almost easy for you, in a way?
No, it’s never easy to win a race, but I just go to the race and give my best. My team is all behind me, and every time we race we try to get a good bike for the main event, and I always just try to get a good start, and try to get the win.

It sounds easy...
It’s not really easy, but when you get the holeshot, and you give your best, you stay in the lead, and you get the race.

What about the future? I know it’s premature, being only four races into your supercross career, but are you really looking forward to racing 450s in supercross?
Yeah, I really like to ride 450s. I prefer it. My style is better for the 450, so that would be better.

So you think you’re faster on a 450?
Yeah, for sure, I’ll be faster, but we’ll see...

That’s scary for a lot of those guys...
It’s not scary. Bubba is really fast. To me, he’s like a robot or something like that. He’s good.

What about your brother, Sebastien? Is he going to join you over here at some point?
I don’t really know if he’ll come or not. He’d be really good for the nationals, but...

He’s not a supercross guy?
Maybe he can be, but I don’t know if he wants to.

If you win the title this year, do you want to move up to 450s right away? Or do you want to stay down a little while?
Before I won these races, I was thinking about that, and I think maybe I can race one more year on a 250, but I’m not sure, because I really want to ride 450s. I’ll see. I don’t have a contract for next year, so I’ll see with the team and with my agent what they’re going to do, and what I want to do. I think I can maybe ride one more year, but I’m not really sure right now.
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