One rider still to confirm his plans for the 2019 season is young French talent, Stephen Rubini who despite picking up injuries this year did show some good speed throughout the course of the season – the Russian GP was the highlight of his season.
Rubini spent the season with the Silver Action KTM team but they’ve decided to close their doors for the season ahead leaving Rubini without a ride. The young French rider really wants to contest the MX2 World Championship again but it looks like he’s going to have to contest in the EMX250 series.
We caught up with Rubini to get his thoughts on 2019 and the future.
Gatedrop: Let’s start with the 2018 season, obviously you picked up injuries which halted your season but you did show some good speed. How would you describe your season?
Stephen Rubini: Hello everyone. Yes, I had a lot of injuries this season that didn’t allow me to ride every round of the championship. I’m disappointed about that because I showed I could be in the top 10 and I would have really enjoyed doing that at several rounds of the series.
Gatedrop: In Russia you were really fast, you must have been pleased with that GP particularly? How did it feel running at the front in MX2?
Stephen Rubini: It was my first time on this track in Russia. I usually don’t like those type of tracks which are very fast. But I was in a good mood, had good lines and most importantly – a lot of fun while riding! To fight with the top names in the class was awesome and it allowed me to learn more about myself and what I am able to do.
Gatedrop: You were with the Silver Action KTM team this year but they’ve closed their doors. It must be pretty frustrating for you because you’d have probably have stayed with the team for another season in 2019?
Stephen Rubini: That’s true. I am very sad that they closed their doors. They’re my second family and I would never thank all of them enough for all they have done for me. The trust they gave me and their great support. Of course, I would loved to have stayed with them for 2019 because I know that they do everything they can for their riders, they give everything they have.
Gatedrop: So at the moment you’re without a ride. Just how hard is it to get a ride to contest the MX2 World Championship at the moment?
Stephen Rubini: It’s really hard to get a ride in MX2 to be able to live from it. With the results I made this season, it’s not enough.
Gatedrop: Being without a ride for 2019 at the moment, you must be under a lot of stress. How are you dealing with it?
Stephen Rubini: This is one of the most stressful and demotivating situations I’ve faced. Of course I won’t give up now. Motocross is my entire life and I have nothing else.
Gatedrop: Talk is you might be racing the EMX250 Championship next year. I guess you’d prefer to race MX2 but you’ve no other option than to switch to EMX250?
Stephen Rubini: Yes, unfortunately I’m forced to switch down to the EMX250 class. That’s not what I wanted of course. But I will take it like a chance to “back off and better blow up”. I’m going to work hard in order to get the European title and back in the MX2 world championship in 2020.
Gatedrop: For any team manager’s out there still looking for an MX2 World Championship rider, what sort of rider would they be signing in you?
Stephen Rubini: I think I can say I’m physically strong but I still have to work mentally. The situation in which I’m currently in, is already a lesson to me – all I want is a place in the MX2 world championship. I’m working very hard and ready to kill it. I am maybe more “mature” than I was before.
Gatedrop: What are your long term goals for the future?
Stephen Rubini: The same war as all the other guys in the MX2 World Championship – to become world champion.
Gatedrop: You’ve great speed in hard pack, do you plan on riding lots of sand this winter to improve in the sandy conditions?
Stephen Rubini: Sand tracks are not the majority of the tracks, but that’s a kind of track where you can lose a lot of points if you’re not enough good at it. So yes I have too and I will train hard in the sandy conditions!
Gatedrop: Anyone you’d like to thank?
Stephen Rubini: I’d like to thank the following:
KTM silver action (all the staff)
Moto Club Volx Villeneuve
My dad & my mom
all my other sponsors
Interview: Andy McKinstry