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Catching up with Gaetan Bertaut!

Catching up with Gaetan Bertaut!
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Gaetan has been working as a mechanic in the MXGP paddock for the past eleven years working with some top teams and riders in the sport. He is getting married shortly, due to this he has decided to make a to tough decision and go a different direction with his life.

As he reveals to us he will now become a crossfit coach. We decided to catch up with Gaetan to discuss his time as GP mechanic and get his thoughts on the series. Not many people will know as much as Gaetan! He has been involved in the paddock for a very long time.

Gatedrop: You have been in the MXGP paddock for 11 years but this year is the last year, what’s the main reason for this decision?

Gaetan Bertaut: It’s to finally have some kind of private life as I am getting married in a couple of weeks and I want to be able to spend more time with my coming wife.

Gatedrop: What’s next for you? Do you know what you will be doing next year yet?

Gaetan Bertaut: I start to pass some exams in the last two years to become a Crossfit coach and it will be a big part of my next chapter.

Gatedrop: For the people that don’t know, can you talk me through all the riders you have worked with?

Gaetan Bertaut: From 2005 to 2016 I have worked with:   Anthony Boissière, Marc ristori, Nikolaj Larsen, Steven Frossard, worked on the engine for Clément Desalle and a bike for my wife Elien Dewinter at the WMX. I have also worked with Davide Guarneri, Jeremy Delince, Filip Bengsston, head mechanic for Jose Butron and Ratsep, Jake Nicholls, Tonkov and Kullas. Tonkov was the last rider I had the opportunity to work with.

Gatedrop: Looking back who was the easiest and the hardest rider you worked with and why?

Gaetan Bertaut: I think the easiest has been Harri Kullas because we understood each other without even talking that much.  The hardest was Marc Ristori as he set the bar really high for the results, but we worked hard together and did it.

Gatedrop: Looking back on the 11 years if you had to pick your best memory, what would it be?

Gaetan Bertaut: Some people who know me quite good would not even believe this but that podium with Butron during the 2012 season in Brazil is the one. I worked so hard with the team with a lot of ups and downs to arrive there for the second year working with this team, starting from scratch it was not easy.

Gatedrop: Would you say the level of MXGP is currently the best it’s ever been or has it been higher before?

Gaetan Bertaut: It is difficult to say but for sure the MX2 level used to be higher. I remember in 2008 there was a full gate and a top 15 guy had the potential to be on the podium the weekend after.

Gatedrop: Youthstream are trying to bring new people into the sport and make the sport bigger. Are you a fan of what they’re trying to do or not? 

Gaetan Bertaut: When I look to when I started to now, sure the sport has evolved in a good way.  Motocross has become bigger and Americans have a lot more respect for Europe now. However, it is still a shame that riders don’t get price money and that a young riders need to pay to get a ride in the paddock.

Gatedrop: Youthstream have changed a lot in eleven years, are you on board with these changes? 

Gaetan Bertaut: Yes, I sure like what they did with the infrastructure, it looks damn good but going next year to 20 GP’s is a lot.  You will hear some guys pointing to the fact USA run 28 rounds or something but some of our top GP riders are racing something like 35 races.  Compared to USA most of our crew travel by van and the races are 4 days long, to go practice hard pack when you live in lommel takes a 3 hour drive and it’s the same if you live near hardpack to train in the sand.  The weather conditions are worse so there is some good and bad things I guess.

Gatedrop: Do you still plan to come to some GP’s next year or will you drift away from the sport completely? 

Gaetan Bertaut: Yes, sure I will be at Valkenswaard, Lommel, Assen and maybe the French GP as it’s the closest from my home.

Gatedrop: Jeffrey Herlings will finally move up to the MXGP class in 2017, do you think he could be the third rookie to win it in three years? If not who do you tip to win the title!  

Gaetan Bertaut: Yes, I think he can be but Febvre will have a strong comeback next year I think.  His former mechanic romain coiffard will be with him together with his mechanic Manuel and it will be positive for him for sure.

Gatedrop: With Herlings moving up to the MXGP class, who are you backing for the MX2 title in 2017? It could be some great racing! 

Gaetan Bertaut: I think Jonass and hope for pâturel.  You can say I am French and love blue bikes by the two last question with two French riders on Yamaha (laughs).

Interview: Andy McKinstry

Pic: Eva Szabadfi

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