ENGLISH: Moto-Ain - FIM endurance World Championship
The French team Moto Ain was founded in 1997 by Pierre Chapuis, a former rider who competed in the French superbike championship - FSBK and endurance. He has also competed in several major competitions such as Macau and endurance at Suzuka.
He went from being the driver to becoming a team manager, Pierre Chapuis' team has helped some young French talents such as Randy de Puniet, Lucas de Carolis, Etienne Masson and Hugo Clere.
Moto Ain has been competing since 2003 in FSBK and since 1997 in EWC / CRT FIM endurance.
French Superbike Championship
HugoClere, two-time French champion in the SSP600.
Endurance World Cup 2018
Rider: Alexis Masbou
Rider: Roberto Rolfo
Rider: Christoffer Bergman
Moto Ain: a team of 30 employees.
Team manager: Pierre Chapuis
Team press: Romie Marmont
Electronic: 1 techniciens spécifiques.
After the 2017 season, you almost won the title of the CRT class (SST1000), only one point behind the winner.
Was the choice of riders for this season an obvious choice?
No, we wanted riders who maintain a high level internationally, without being able to pay them in relation to their talent.
Our first choice was Alexis Masbou, Christoffer Bergman and Roberto Rolfo. Bergman and Rolfo were both occupied / drove in other championships. As for Masbou, he was the regular driver of Moto Ain in 2016/17, he wished to drive with Louis Rossi for another team. Thus, we started the 2017/18 season at Bol d'or with other riders.
Why did you choose to stay in the CRT class for 2018, instead of stepping up to the EWC?
Although our team is a professional team that's competing from year to year, we are still an amateur team. That is, our passion is not our livelihood, and we have few finances from the outside. Running in the EWC is much more expensive when it comes to building the motorcycle. Nevertheless, we have the will to stepp up to the EWC in more or less short-term.
For the race at Slovakia Ring 2017 you had a Swedish driver - Christoffer Bergman. How did you get to know each other?
I met Christoffer Bergman during a WSSP600 race 2015, during this time I was with my rider Hugo Clere in the SST600. I saw right away in Christoffer a rider who fits in the image and the spirit that is synonymous with Moto Ain: the passion for the competition, the positive mood, kindness, being involved, and respect for the common and individual work. I contacted him and he joined us in 2017.
What are your impressions of Christoffer Bergman as a rider - as a rider on the track and as a rider with his feedback?
Christoffer is an extremely fast rider, very technical and consistent. With his speed, he has always been a pulling aid for our other riders for better lap times. He manages changes and improvements on the motorcycle in an excellent way in his work with his feedback.
Which are each riders strong sides?
- Masbou: Very strong, even in difficult times.
- Roby Rolfo: His speed, fast.
- Christoffer Bergman: His feedback.
- Moto Ain: A will and spirit that you can not find anywhere else!
During a pit stop, do you make any changes of the suspension or electronics for each rider?
No, we only change tires, brakes and refueling.
Are you restricted during a race to a maximum amount of tires, for example?
Yes, we have access to a certain number of tires depending on the category and the length of the race.
Why don't you have a female rider?
Only a case of coincidence. It's probably associated with that an endurance race is a physical challenge. There are unfortunately few women who run that kind of races.
You have been to Spain - Almeria for a tests, are you satisfied with the result - have you found areas where you can improve your Yamaha R1M?
We've just finished the first tests on Almeria with our Yamaha R1M and our riders Masbou, Bergman and Rolfo. We worked with the controls, making it as easy as possible to ride and adapting it to our new riders. We also compared the M-version versus a standard R1, and the results were encouraging.
You are using Öhlins suspension. Which front fork and rear shock, more specifically?
We use a standard R1M fork with a specific Öhlins kit and a TTX rear shock.
With a Swedish suspension and a Swedish rider, Christoffer Bergman, is it possible to see Moto Ain with three Swedish riders in the future?
Yes, of course, provided they perform, they fit into the team and that there is a budget for it, for example thanks to Swedish sponsors.
Do you as a team have any race you prefer?
Le Castellet is the place of our first victory in the endurance World Cup. It is a French circuit, where we did our utmost to our partners. Its location near the Mediterranean sea gives it a climate that provides good conditions.
And as a competition, do you prefer as a team an eight-hour or twenty-four-hour race?
None as we prefer in front of the other. The endurance thrill is just the mix of sprint race and the longer race.
What can we expect from Moto Ain in the next few years, and what are your long-term goals?
We hope to continue with our professional approach in order to advance in the World Cup. But, we have the heart enough to preserve the kind and friendly spirit that has followed us throughout the years.
In the long run .. Become a professional team.
Foto: Moto Ain
Text: Dan Höijer