Racer X: Ben, although I didn’t get a chance to speak with you, I saw you in the stands watching the Las Vegas Supercross. What happened? Why weren’t you riding? Ben Coisy: Actually, I missed the last two Supercrosses, because I fell in practice at Salt Lake City and twisted my elbow. Nothing was broken, but it was some nerve damage in my arm, and I was not strong enough to ride. I probably could have ridden in Vegas, but not at 100 percent. It’s difficult enough when you are competing at 100 percent, so to ride at 50 percent didn’t make sense. Ultimately, the team and I decided not to race there because I really had nothing to win, but could lose a lot if I further damaged it. I just focused on being healthy for the outdoors.
Will you be okay for Glen Helen? Yes. I stayed quiet for a few days at home, and didn’t move my arm – now it’s okay. I recently practiced and tested my bike and felt comfortable on it.
You had put in some strong rides in Supercross; especially that sixth overall at Indianapolis. Besides missing the last two rounds, how would you rate your indoor season? Well, I think that there were some good rides, and some bad rides. After Indy, I thought to myself, “You rode like you know”; I felt so great when I was riding there, like I was riding really free. I know that I can ride fast, but don’t know why at times I cannot be fast all weekend. So far, this has been a year for me to learn. I am not used to riding so many races. With racing the French Championships, it was a lot if I raced three consecutive weekends without any break! One main thing that I learned was that I have to work on my starts; if you are up front riding with the best guys, you can develop a good rhythm throughout the race.
As many know, MotoConcepts Racing is a first-year team, but they have some very experienced people like Steve Lamson. Yes, I feel that even if it is our first year, that people like Steve do bring a huge amount of experience to us. Everyone in the team works very hard for us. They always try to find solutions to things, and they listen to all of us a lot. Until we are happy, they work hard to bring us the best that they can, and everyone is very professional. I really enjoy working with Steve; he’s very nice, and he knows exactly what he is talking about. It’s very family orientated, and there is a great atmosphere here.
I know that you have ridden Hondas back in France, then on the Honda Red Bull Racing team last year in Supercross Lites. How do the bikes compare to MCRMX? With Honda France it was really some stock off-the-floor bikes with only my Showa suspension, a pipe, and just a little engine work. The bikes here at MCRMX are really better. Of course, my Red Bull Honda Racing bike was awesome, but I cannot really compare it to my MCRMX bike because it was a 250F and now I have a 450F. The team is definitely working tirelessly to bring us the best parts that they can.
Touch on last year for a minute when you were racing for Honda. You scored a couple impressive top five finishes. Thanks. I would really like to go back in time, as I regret that I didn’t really have the time to prepare myself for that Championship. I had been training for the World Motocross GP MX3 class (on the “open” bikes) for two months prior, and suddenly I had two weeks to prepare for riding a 250F factory bike in supercross! I did the best that I could, but may not have been the best prepared. That’s why I have some little regrets there. But, as I said, I rode an excellent bike, and met some very nice people. It was a good experience, and it enabled me to see how the supercross tracks were here.
On a personal note, how have you and your wife found California to be? I really enjoy the life in California; it’s very sunny and there are a lot of practice tracks – it’s like heaven for motocross! Marlene and I like going to Six Flags – it’s so big! Also, we like playing golf, tennis, and so many other things – everything is only about two miles from home. I also appreciate how everything is open at any time; in France everything is closed after 7:00 PM, and on Sunday people are not allowed to work. But I don’t really like the police here; they can be rude. I got a ticket because I did not have my California Driver’s License. All the French guys that were here told me that it would be easy to pass, and that the questions were very simple, so I took my exam without studying – I got twelve wrong so I failed! Now I am waiting to get my Driver’s handbook, and have a go again. For the moment, we have not missed France too much. We like to be here, the people are nice, and you can go to the Supermarket in your pajamas!
I know many French riders like you get asked this question often, but how does France produce so many good motocross/supercross riders? I don’t know. There are a lot of very good Belgian and Italian riders in the GPs, but they never seem to come here. Maybe it’s just because the guys in France like to ride supercross, and if you want to race in America one day, you must know how to ride Supercross. It seems like the guys that race the World Motocross GPs do not ride Supercross.
I heard that you are working a bit with Jean Michele Bayle. We will work together a bit during the outdoors series, but we are friends first before anything else.
You have never raced AMA Motocross here. Where do you see yourself finishing? I don’t really know, Jim. It’s all new. I don’t know the tracks, and I know that the weather can get very hot and humid, like in Texas for example. So we will see. Right now, I do not have an objective for my place at the end of the season. I will practice really hard, and give it my best, and hope to be in the top ten as much as possible.
How do you want to finish this interview up? With thanking my team MotoConcepts Racing, my mechanic Craig, my wife Marlene, and all the sponsors that are supporting me: Fly Racing, FMF, TLR, Utopia, Alpinestars, and Pirelli.