Our colleague in France, Moto Verte’s Jordan Labbe, just interviewed Jordi Tixier on the announcement that he will replace the injured Romain Febvre on Team France for the upcoming Monster Energy FIM Motocross of Nations. The French, who are on a four-year winning streak at the event, initially passed on placing U.S.-based Marvin Musquin on the team. After Febvre went down in Turkey, they called Musquin, but this time he was the one who passed—he and his wife Mathilde went on vacation in Thailand. So the French turned to Tixier, the 2014 FIM MX2 Motocross World Champion. With the help of Google Translate, here is Jordan’s interview with Tixier.
Moto Verte: Jordi, this call from the FIM has sounded like a nice surprise for you.
Jordi Tixier: Of course. After such a difficult season, I did not expect it. After an injury and a painful separation with my former team, I did not imagine receiving this call from Pascal Finot. It's been a few days since he called me to check my interest, and I started to think about it. I know that they contacted Marvin Musquin and that it was not feasible, so they thought of me and I am very happy. It is an extraordinary chance to be able to wear the jersey of the team of France to RedBud in the USA, and my motivation is total. This is a unique opportunity, and I will give everything to the team.
Wearing the shirt of the French team and replacing Romain Febvre is no small matter. Are you ready for this challenge?
Wearing Romain's shirt will not be easy. He deserved his selection, and he was the best rider on the team. I have already been selected before [to race] for France, and I know what that means. We do not just ride for us, but for the team—for a whole country. The pressure is great, but I take it as a chance. After a difficult year, it is unexpected, and I will do everything not to disappoint.
Which motorcycle will you ride?
We separated with the BOS GP team, and even though I was not behind a starting grid, I never stopped training. Today, I am at 100 percent of my physical abilities, and I continue to work to ride at my best thanks to the KTM VHR team and the dealer Pole Position 77. I am sure to have an excellent machine, a 450 KTM SX-F, with good parts. My selection is very recent, so everything is not yet decided 100 percent, but I'm not worried. I know that my bike will be competitive.
You will be in the Open category against Justin Barcia, Jeremy Van Horebeek, Jeremy Seewer... Do these names scare you?
Afraid? No. I know that they are all great riders in front of the world, but they do not scare me. Although my season has not been good this year with only two GPs raced and a disabling injury, I am now 100 percent and think I can fight. I am motivated as ever!
What are your personal goals? Where do you stand in relation to your competitors?
Personally, I just want to give the best of myself, but what matters most to the Nations is the team. I will fight for the team and for the group result; that's all that matters to me. The USA and the Netherlands are favorites, obviously, but I remain convinced that we can also have our say and that we can aim for the podium or even better.
This story is reminiscent of that of Christophe Charlier last year, isn’t it?
Yes, it's true. What Christophe did last year is exceptional, and my selection has points in common with that of Christophe. I hope to do as well as him and bring my best to the race and make the best possible result for the team of France! Today, I cannot be happier and more motivated.