There were many shocking points that came from the way that Jordi Tixier performed in Paris over the weekend. First of all, he was the best-placed rider behind the Monster Energy Supercross regulars and secondly he revealed in this MX Vice interview that he is receiving factory support from KTM! Is it actually wise to be spending time inside of a stadium, with that in mind, as it is obviously not his priority? Tixier discusses that in-depth below.
MX Vice: There were a few up and downs this weekend, like crashes that hurt your results, but overall I was super impressed with your speed.
Jordi Tixier: Yeah, sure. I’m leaving here pretty happy. I didn’t really expect this, especially yesterday in the main. I was third for almost all the main. A little crash in the whoops, but still managed to finish fifth so it was really nice. This morning the feeling was pretty good during the timed practice and I had a big get-off on the table. Hit my hand a little bit. I wasn’t sure to ride this evening, but actually I felt good. Unfortunately, first moto a rider jumped on my arm on the first jump. I crashed again and hit my arm again, so it wasn’t easy. Even with the main I managed to do two times seventh or something like that. Actually the speed was quite good, so I’m pretty happy about it.
Were there any parts of the track where you felt particularly strong or like you were struggling a little bit?
No, actually not. The whoops section is the part where it’s difficult, but the first few minutes it’s always good. When you get tired, then it’s getting a little bit tricky. Actually I managed to make my laps really consistent during all the motos without any crashes today, so pretty good.
You are not training for a supercross series or anything like that. When you come to events like this and you are putting the time in, what are you hoping to get out of it? Obviously you are not going to lay it all on the line for a great finish, but you also want to do well for your sponsors.
I’m a racer and I’m a rider. I really like supercross. I like to show who is going around the races. Since I’m young, I’m riding already 85cc supercross and on a 125cc I did all the French championship on supercross. I really enjoy it. That’s why every year I just try to train for one month for this race, and sometimes Geneva, because I just like it. I just want to have fun. It’s completely different than the GPs. I like how everything is going. I’m just training for it. For sure, I cannot expect to win against a guy like [Jason] Anderson or [Zach] Osborne. They are doing supercross so many times. Actually yesterday riding with [Justin] Brayton for ten minutes was just awesome. The speed this year was pretty good.
Do you think the technique that comes into it on a track like this, that actually helps you when you eventually go back to outdoor stuff?
I’m sure about it. Normally after the GPs you take some off-season. From my side, I just decide to ride for a month and do the races because physically and technically it can bring you some nice things for the supercross. Almost no GP rider is doing it, so let’s try to be a little bit different. Anyway, even if it doesn’t bring so much, I really enjoy doing it. I’m sure it brings some things, so pretty good.
Like you say, not a lot of MXGP riders do this stuff and a lot of them are out riding in the rain and the wind currently. Is there any part of you that worries that they are gaining an edge on you? Do you think it would help if you were doing lap after lap at Lommel right now?
Actually not. The GP is quite in a long time. The guys riding at the moment, it is just to test for 2019. I decide to do it a little bit different. I’m going to test a little bit later in the season. I don’t think it’s going to help. I think what I did is going to help more than riding in Lommel and do lap after lap.
Finally, obviously you have spent some more time with your new team now. I guess everything is going well there?
Everything is going really well. VHR KTM, it is a pretty good team. The team owner is a long-time friend of my dad. I just feel really good. I missed it the last few years, just being happy and going to the races. That is why we decided to sign with VHR. We got the help from the KTM factory on some parts and on some bikes, so it helps a lot. Actually it feels pretty good in the team. Everybody is around me. We are going to make a great bike and a great team for next year. It is going to be perfect.
Can you go into any more detail about the factory help you are getting from KTM? What parts specifically? How that deal came about?
We have special price on the bike and we can get factory parts sometimes and some special prices on some other factory parts.
Like suspension and engine? What are we talking about?
Not really. They helped me for the suspension for RedBud, for example. About the engine, they also help me on the ECU. I always had an awesome feeling with KTM. I got world champion with them and again this year in the Motocross of Nations we got world champion with KTM. So, sure, it is a big family. When I ask them for next year if we can get some help, they answered with a positive answer. I really thank them for that and looking forward for 2019.
It was actually you that went to them, then? I guess when you were looking at this team and moving here, you kind of knew you would need those factory bits to make sure you are competitive?
Yeah, for sure. The bike is pretty important. Before in the 450F class even with a stock bike you can do some awesome results, but not anymore. You need to have a really strong bike that is powerful and suspension needs to be perfect. That is why I think the help from KTM factory is always good.
Interview: Lewis Phillips | Lead Image: ConwayMX