Interview: Charles Lefrançois on Belfast Arenacross
After the first two rounds of the Arenacross UK series, Charles Lefrançois is sitting pretty as he leads the 450 championship standings after a super strong start to the season. With there only be six rounds of the series, it’s important to have a good start to the series so Lefrançois will be pleased about how Belfast went for him – especially after winning the main event on Saturday.
The SR75 Suzuki rider will be hoping to win the title for the first time this year but with the likes of Ramette, Izoird and Reardon in the pro 450cc class, it’s not going to be easy but he shouldn’t be underestimated.
We caught up with Lefrançois after Belfast to discuss his weekend.
Gatedrop: Charles, we’ve had the first two rounds of the Arenacross Tour here at Belfast, the first night was good for you and the second night was even better! Can you talk me through both nights?
Lefrançois: Yes, it was a solid weekend for me and my team, SR75 Suzuki. The first round was a great night for me, I won the first main event but in the second main I only finished fifth because my bike stopped just at the finish jump. In the main I took a good start but Hsu and Soubeyras were already gone at the front, it was impossible to win. Today (Saturday), my feeling on the bike was better. We worked on the suspension, we made some modifications on the rear shock and fork, my feeling was much better. I am so happy to get this first victory for my team because Geoff (Walker – team boss) will help me all year. It’s great support for me to train for the French Championship, I have good parts on my bike, it’s so good. I am really happy for Geoff and the team.
Gatedrop: Winning that main event, you looked really good but had a lot of pressure from behind you. Did you get nervous, if you did, you didn’t let it show!
Lefrançois: Brian Hsu rode really well this weekend. He was really fast and put a lot of pressure on me but I stayed strong. When I looked at the board that said two laps, I made sure to really focus on my riding. The corner after the finish jump is really hard but tonight I think I was really strong in the whoops, it was good for me.
Gatedrop: The Arenacross UK tour this year, would you say this is the most stacked it’s been? You’ve got yourself, Hsu, Soubeyras, Ramette, Reardon – it’s deep.
Lefrançois: Yes, the level is high. With the riders, all is possible whether it’s to finish eighth or to win. The start is really important, it’s possible for many riders to win.
Gatedrop: As so many riders can win, it’s going to be important to be consistent, are you hoping that can help you battle for the championship?
Lefrançois: Of course, all the riders here ride Arenacross very well. It’s never easy out there and everyday is a new day. I am going to focus on the riding and I’m going to push hard to win.
Gatedrop: You’ve been doing the Arenacross UK series for a number of years now, you seem to get better every year. What would you put that down too, perhaps getting used to the smaller tracks?
Lefrançois: Yes, always in Arenacross the tracks are very small. I have a good experience now as I’ve done three years of it. I know the championship now. I’ve done the German and French championships for many years. I have a good experience now, the level is very high but I work to get better.
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Pic: Nigel McKinstry