5 Minutes With... Christophe Pourcel

June 16, 2009 9:22pm | by:
Monster Energy/Pro Circuit Kawasaki’s Christophe Pourcel is your new Lucas Oil/AMA 250 Pro Motocross Championship points leader after going 1-1 for the first time this year at High Point. And he did it while suffering from extreme stomach pain and actually looking slower than any of the frontrunners due to his smooth riding style. In the second moto, he even got a fat lip from a rock off of Trey Canard’s rear wheel, but that wasn’t as big of a distraction as his stomach was. We talked to him after the race.

Racer X: You said in the press conference that your stomach hurts every weekend in the second moto. What was it like this weekend?
Christophe Pourcel: I followed Trey, and it was easier for me to follow someone so I could just be smooth and I didn’t really get tired, which was better for my stomach. I just followed him and found the faster lines, so it was easier on my stomach.

So it’s mainly when you have to push yourself that it really gets bad?
I don’t really know. I mean, I’m trying to get over this thing. It depends on the track. But I saw my new doctor, and she worked with her hands on my belly and everywhere, and she said I have many things wrong, so she has to work on it and that I’ll be better in three weeks. I have to see her every week for about six weeks, so maybe she’s going to fix it. I like that, and I hope she does.

What’s it like to go to the line every week knowing that you don’t just have to beat those guys, but you have to overcome that stomach issue, too?
Yeah, I’m just sitting there, not smiling, and I just try to focus on the race and not my stomach pain, but it’s hard. I’m just trying to find a way to get away from this thing before the moto. During the week, I get this pain every time I ride, and during the weekend, just before the moto, I feel a little stress, and then I feel really bad. I’m just focused on the pain and on the race, but like 60 percent of the focus is on the pain.

Chad Reed is having stomach issues, too.
Yeah, but I wasn’t in his situation, which is why I’m trying to find a way to get out of this thing. I think I can get it fixed. The doctor knows what she’s doing inside me, and I’ll be better, but when you’ve got pain, it’s easy to get to be more focused on the pain than the race. You don’t want to, but you have to sometimes. You get a little stress before the race because it’s a race, and then you never know what’s going to happen.

It just seems like an extra thing that you have to worry about and you shouldn’t have to worry about it. The guys lined up with you aren’t worried about their stomachs. It’s one extra thing you have to do that no one else does.
Yeah, and I don’t want to worry about that anymore! They’re good [physically], but I’m not really good, so... I’m just really not happy, not smiling, and I try to breathe really well through the race, and my mechanic pours cold water on me just to get me to think about something else. So then I’m focused on my back, and I don’t feel it as much. That’s better, but it’s still not good. I can’t really eat before the moto and things like that, either.

I want to talk a little bit about your riding style now, too.
Do you like it?

I love it! It’s a beautiful style. It’s very pretty. You’re so smooth, and you stand up around corners, and you’re always under control. You’re all about flowing around a track instead of sitting down and either being wide open or completely off the gas. It’s all smooth. And in the first moto, you looked almost slow, but you were gone! Is this the way you’ve always ridden? Or have you gotten smoother since your big injury?
This is the way that I want to use my energy, so that’s why I ride like that. When you’ve got a big track like this one, it’s the way you have to do it, because you have to shift a gear, and you don’t have to be wide-open every time. You don’t need to be the fastest in one spot, you need to be the fastest all the way around the track. That’s what I try and do.

But did this happen after your injury?
I was a little bit like that before. When I got my World Championship, I tried to be like that, but for sure after my injury, I didn’t want to crash anymore, so... Like this weekend, I rode the whole weekend, and I didn’t crash anywhere, and I didn’t even almost crash. That was my goal. I don’t want to crash anymore.

But you still did the uphill triple early in the practice...
That wasn’t dangerous, that was cool!

Congrats on your first second-moto win, Christophe.
Thank you.