After many weeks of training and a couple of races in Spain earlier this year, the MX season finally start for team 9MM Energy Drink Bud Racing Kawasaki who won two rounds of the French Championship, in Ernée (Juniors class) and Plomion (Women series).
More than 300 riders were in Ernée for the first round of the French Elite, and the sun was there so racing conditions were perfect on such a nice track. The team was involved in the Junior and MX2 classes, and it’s in the Junior class that they celebrate wins as the Coenen brothers dominate both races. Winning both one race and scoring a second position in the other one, Sacha and Lucas were tight in the points but as he won the second moto it’s Lucas who got the red plate as leader of the series. Lucas had a tough opening moto, coming back from sixteenth to second but crossing the finish line more than 40 seconds behind Sacha who dominates the race. In the second heat Lucas had a great start and won ahead of Sacha, with the third rider forty seconds behind the winner
For Quentin Prugnières this race was the first one in the MX2 class against many GP riders, who come there to prepare the Russian GP. Eighth in his qualifying group, Quentin confirmed his ability on the 250 during the first race, with a eighth position. The second moto was different as he hit another rider who crashed in front of him; nearly last when he was back in the race, Quentin came back seventeenth. If we consider only the riders who do the French series, he ends his first Elite race fourth overall.
Quentin, Lucas et Sacha will be on June 26th in Great Britain for the opening round of the European Championships.
Amandine Verstappen was not in Ernée, but she was in Plomion for the first race of the Women championship. It was a perfect day for her, as she was the fastest in the timed practice period, got both holeshot and won both races! The holeshot was important to avoid stones, and with this double win Amandine will be the woman to beat once again next weekend in Huismes for the second round of the series.
After the second position 15 days ago during the first preparation race, the 9MM Energy Drink Bud Racing Kawasaki team conquier the victory.
This time it was the turn of the elder COENEN (by size, remember that Sacha and Lucas are twins) to “score” very big points winning the overall classification in Talavera on this Sunday, May 2, south of Madrid (4th round of the Elite Spain championship).
A track that all the riders of the Team discovered.
After a smooth qualifying round (2nd place for Sacha, 7th for Lucas), our two young riders had legitimate ambitions of victory for the races. In the first moto, after a start in the 19th position, Lucas finished 5th, but not without having shown some demerit. Sacha led the race from the first lap for 20 minutes with great domination until he was a victim of a small technical incident forcing him to abandon. During the second race, Lucas COENEN showed great aggressiveness on the track to conquer with panache his very first victory in the 125cc category. Sacha finished in 7th position under the chequered flag after two crashes in this round, a ranking that does not reflect his enormous potential. Overall victory for Lucas.
Also, 2 representatives of the Team 9MM Energy Drink Kawasaki were present this time in category MX2 (250cc). Honor to the ladies with a deserved qualification for Amandine 274 VERSTAPPEN who after finishing in 27th place will finish in an honorable 25th position during the race 1 in the middle of the boys (3 women in a track on 40 pilots). During the second race, the Belgian will even occupy for a moment the 15th place then will have to let go at the end of the race.
Better for Quentin 319 PRUGNIERES…
The young native of Reunion Island is getting stronger and stronger during this second event in Spain. 7th overall, Quentin will fall during the first start but will go back to the 11th place of the first race (after having obtained the best chrono of the warm-up) and will clearly raise the tone to catch this time a top 5 during the second race.
The last word for Quentin 319 PRUGNIERES : ” I was quite happy with my overall performance even if I didn’t succeed. In the beginning, I was in a good rhythm because I got the 4th fastest time. In the first race, I fell at the start and left in the 40th position, but I came back to finish in the 11th position. In the second race, I was in the first 10 this time and with a good start, I can pretend to be with the leaders. WE satisfying overall !”
Next race : Ernée ( French Elite Championship ) the next 6 June.
New race of the Spanish Elite Championship, the perfect track of Calatayud (Aragon / Spain) also welcomed on this sunny Sunday, April 18th a selection of European riders who came to enrich the line-up, among which the 9MM Bud Racing Kawasaki riders doing their first preparation race for 2021.
Honor to the young riders…
The last recruits of the team, the Coenen brothers Sacha 19 and Lucas 93 have perfectly held their rank for their beginning in the 125cc succeeding together a great performance. A very good start for this season which looks promising. 2nd and 5th of the overall classification, both have shown good dispositions technical, physical, and especially mental after a difficult qualifying session. The debriefing and analysis by the brothers : Sacha is talking : “I had a bit of a difficult start to my weekend, falling twice in the qualifying round. Despite a DNF and the worst place on the grid ( 39th ! ), I was 3rd on the first lap of the first moto. I crashed while overtaking my brother. I came back close to the race leader and I finished second. I started better in the second moto, during the whole race i was close to the leader but I dropped a little bit to finish 3rd, inevitably a little disappointed. »
Lucas 93 Coenen : ” I didn’t do good lap times, but I finished 7th in the qualifying round after a good “remontada” ( 27th after a crash at the beginning of the race). On Sunday, in the first moto, I made the holeshot before being passed. I tried to overtake the first rider but I crashed with him. Nevertheless, I ended the race in the 4th place. During the second moto, the start and the pace were worse than in the first race, I lost the grip and I crashed again. I finished 5th at the overall, I could have done better but it’s for me for the resumption after my long break due to an injury “.
More complicated for our 250cc rider…
Less success furthermore for the new 250 rider Quentin 319 PRUGNIERES in MX2, in difficulty with his starts. Like his young teammates, the qualifying session will not meet the expectations of the Team ( 15th ) as well as the races below the potential despite an improvement in the second race : 13th overall of the weekend.
The final interview by Quentin : “After a disappointing start on Saturday, I have been able to progress during the weekend despite my bad starts. Like my teammates, I have fallen in both races and I know how much I have to work and perform, increase my pace this week-end because I lacked a little physicality, especially in the second race. »
To close the 125 / MX2 chapter, our three riders are agree on one point : their KAWASAKI is performing well and the training put in place by the coach Thierry VAN DEN BOSCH is efficient. Thanks also to their families for their unconditional support. To note the presence of some guests partners ( St Gobain / Norton Spain ) came to honor us with their presence. Special thanks also to all our precious sponsors, 9MM Energy Drink and Kawasaki in first.
Finally, our woman rider Amandine 274 VERSTAPPEN was also there, engaged in MX2 with the boys. Victim of a crash and a shock on the head, she had to give up during the practices and will not take part in the races. The scanner performed at the hospital will not reveal any abnormality. However, she will have to be quiet this week.
Next race in 2 weeks in Madrid ! (Talavera de la reina).
1° Hello Quentin, can you tell us a little bit about your background at BUD RACING?
Hello everyone, yes of course! I’m 15 years old and I’m from Reunion Island. I joined BUD RACING for the 2019 season… I won the French “Espoirs” Championship, the European vice champion title and finished 4th in the World Championship. Last year I ride in 125 and I won again the title of French Champion (8th in Europe). This year, 3rd change of category in a row with the discovery of the 4 strokes and the 250 category!
2° So you have been French champion in 2 different categories and you are the only rider of the team to have tested (and appreciated!) 2 different tires ?
I have a long experience of this brand because I ride with these tires since 2016, I was still far from thinking joining the BUD RACING team that year! At the time, I had already tested for MICHELIN. I know the Starcross 5 product inside out, from 85 to 250, which is the best for me.
3° So you once again took part in the development of MICHELIN tires. What was the benefit for you?
I enjoy testing, it’s very interesting to talk to the technicians and that’s beneficial for me, the team and of course MICHELIN. From my point of view, the main strength of Starcross 5 is its versatility. These tires have a wide range of use on all surfaces. Finally, it’s also a safety feature that I feel confident with, even when they’re under stress and heavy use.
4° EICMA in 2019 was also a new experience, can you tell us about it?
In 2019, I was invited by MICHELIN to the Milan tradeshow and it was a great experience for me because I’d never been to such an important show before. I was also able to talk to prestigious MICHELIN ambassador drivers like Graham JARVIS, multiple enduro champion, and I even shared autograph sessions with him on their stand. I’m very happy to have had this experience with MICHELIN.
5° The final word?
Of course, I would like to thank MICHELIN. It’s very appreciable to be able to count on such an investment, just like during these tests. I would also like to thank my team and my coach for the confidence they have shown in me.
1° Hello Piero, for those of you who don’t know your very rich career at the highest level of the World competition, can you introduce yourself?
Hello everyone, I’ve been working for the MICHELIN group for more than 30 years. I started out in Italy as a quality technician, then moved on to become a test rider in France and the US. In 2001, I joined the Motorsport department through Formula 1 where I stayed for 6 years. Then came the motorcycle period with Moto GP, Superbike, endurance and then I took over the off road department. Since 2012, I have been in charge of the MICHELIN two-wheel world racing activity, which includes enduro, Moto GP, cross-country, electric motorcycle, trial and rally-raid disciplines.
2° After this itinerary marked out with very nice references and experiences, you are today in Saint d’Angély, the scene of the motocross GPs for many years. Did you know this site and have you had the opportunity in your busy career to work in the motocross environment?
I know the motocross since 2011, I even came to attend 2 Grand Prix here in Saint Jean d’Angély. It’s a unique circuit, fantastic for the fans because it offers almost total visibility and the atmosphere is always excellent.
3° The BUD RACING team is entering its third year of collaboration with MICHELIN, but apart from product testing and development, the team is also working with a company to enhance product benefits since the Starcross 5 tire sold by BUD RACING is the same tire used by the drivers. Is this an asset for MICHELIN?
Our tires are tested by top-level riders in extreme conditions and on all types of surfaces and different temperatures. The feedback from BUD RACING is very valuable to us, because once the product is validated internally, it is then marketed to the end customer, who will then have access to tires developed by top riders. Finally, it is very valuable to be able to count on BUD RACING as a specialist dealer with real expertise. The collaboration is therefore total and covers the entire chain, from development to the general public.
4° You were yesterday at the circuit of Navarrenx. Another track and soil texture, what are the lessons learned from this first day of work with the BUD RACING team?
It is a very different circuit from Saint d’Angély because it is narrower, stony and has a different soil texture. It was a complementary and enriching experience. The service is complete for us! In addition and in a broader way, the expertise of BUD RACING is very useful to us for the return of their riders to test both prototypes, production tires but also the “Bib Mousse”.
5° What are MICHELIN’s core values that can be transposed to the world of racing today?
MICHELIN is a long-established company that is particularly attached to respect for its employees, partners and customers. Group spirit and cohesion are also deeply rooted in our company, to which we must add loyalty. Loyalty that can also be found with our teams and riders, always with the same passion and desire to build over the long term, as is the case here with BUD RACING. Finally, we are also concerned about respecting the environment in many ways because we develop “green” products that respect the planet. In this sense, we have zero-emission factories and we work on mixtures coming from organic and natural culture. This is the direction we are going in today.
6° Finally, you have honored us with your presence, will we see the return of Piero TARAMASSO this on a motocross event when the sanitary conditions will allow us?
Yes of course! Motocross fascinates me, as soon as possible I will be sincerely delighted to return here. The Moto GP absorbs a lot of my time but I intend to free myself as soon as I have the opportunity!
Hello Thierry, thank you for introducing yourself in a few words, especially to the youngest ones who don’t know your huge prize list!
Thierry Van Den Bosch I am originally from Nérac in the Lot et Garonne. First season of motocross at 10 years old, a discipline that I practiced until the age of 18 years old… Then I made a career in the Supermotard interspersed by a speed period (250 GP then Supersport), the whole in World Championship. When I hung up the leather, I obtained a sports coach diploma and I am now involved with young people as a coach.
You join the BUD RACING team at the end of 2015 and immediately win your first major title with Stéphane DASSE’s team.
We became vice 250cc European champion for my debut with the American rider Darian SANAYEI, then we followed up this time with a 125cc European champion title conquered by Brian MOREAU… My second career was launched!
This season 2021 saw the arrival of 3 new recruits in addition to Quentin PRUGNIERES and Amandine VERSTAPPEN both reigning French champions with BUD RACING. Can you introduce them by evoking their strong points and the areas where they must progress ?
We have a very good workforce this year as we have recruited a promising young Norwegian, Hakon FREDRIKSEN, who was 3rd in 250 Europe last year at only 17 years old. Complete driver, he is formidable in the sand but learns quickly on the hard since he joined us. He combines a great technique with a real physical strength… He does not have a common profile but we will aim together for the title of European champion.
In addition, we welcomed this winter two new and very young “support” pilots, the COENEN brothers from Belgium. Sacha has like Hakon a very good speed in the sand. The change of category is not simple (from the 85cc to the 125cc) but the progress is constant… Just like Lucas who follows the steps of his brother even if he took a little delay due to an injury a few months ago. Both are listening to us which is essential to reach the highest level. There is a very good emulation between these riders especially since Quentin, French champion in 85cc as well as in 125cc, is a little bit their elder representing the example to be followed.
We are still in the off-season but the team is not unemployed since you have done many tests since the beginning of the year. Can you tell us a bit more about it?
Both the 250 and the 125 are new motorcycles. The KX 250 is very well born and gives us full satisfaction. For the 125, it is a BUD RACING prototype with a KAWASAKI cycle part. Of course, we’ve been working on it since the beginning of the winter and are still in the testing phase, constantly developing and testing both the chassis and engine, as well as the tires from our partner MICHELIN.
The final word?
2021 represents a very nice challenge for us with ambitious and seasoned drivers like Quentin even if he changes category. We are impatient to see Hakon at work as well, who will also win in 250. I don’t doubt for a moment that Amandine, for her part, will take a step forward. The COENEN brothers will demonstrate, like their teammates, the full extent of their talent. Finally, let’s welcome the arrival of a new title sponsor 9MM Energy Drink who, apart from the financial aspect, contributes to a real synergy and group cohesion and who shares the common point of our winning culture!