There is no doubting the French riders speed as Cedric Soubeyras certainly one of the quickest, if not the quickest rider in behind the gate at the Arenacross UK series.
Soubeyras does tend to struggle with starts though compared to his rivals and that’s where he loses out. He was disappointed not to get on the podium during both nights at Belfast but he still keeps his championship lead going into round six which is the most important thing.
We decided to catch up with Soubeyras to discuss his season so far and what the future holds for him once the Arenacross UK series finishes up.
Gatedrop: Cedric, we’ve just had two nights of racing in Belfast. Can you talk me through both your nights?
Cedric Soubeyras: Yeah, both nights didn’t go as good as I expected because as you know I didn’t get a podium. It was a strong top five yesterday (Friday), I didn’t lose a lot of points in the championship because Ramette got behind and I did the best time in the hot lap.
I had to stay focused today (Saturday) because you know, I wanted to do good and I had a pretty good start in the final which is important in Arenacross. I got pushed out around the outside but that’s normal, the first corner was tight but I came back strong, from ninth to fourth with some fast laps.
You know, I complain a lot that the Arenacross finals are not long enough and I still say the same because four and a half minutes to pass many riders is so hard. I’m still leading the championship by one or two points and I know that I need to be strong in two weeks, I will be strong and focused to try my best to secure the championship.
Gatedrop: Speed certainly doesn’t seem to be your problem but starts seem to be! On Friday you were dead last on the first lap, is that frustrating and especially when Ramette is such a good starter?
Cedric Soubeyras: You know, the best point about Ramette is the start. When we start together in France, Supercross – I don’t want to be mean or anything but usually I win. In Arenacross that lasts four minutes if you start at the front you go wide open and it’s not hard to do it.
He is a strong rider, he doesn’t often make many mistakes so you have to be consistent to beat him. We see that he’s the first rider to win two finals this year during the five finals there’s been four different winners now. I’m just looking forward to the next round, I will try my best to work on my starts, I will be more than ready next weekend.
Gatedrop: I believe this is your third year contesting the Arenacross UK series. How would you compare the level this year compared to previous years? The likes of Reardon and Bobryshev coming in adds something extra.
Cedric Soubeyras: It’s a higher level every year. Arenacross is that small and that, I would say not technical which means every rider can win. You just need a good start and a good lap time then you go boom, boom, boom and you do a good final.
The level is quite similar but we are seeing guys like Hugo Basaula able to win a final, last year he was struggling to even get into the final but this year he’s got better. Arenacross is arenacross and we can’t even compare it to Supercross, it’s two different types of the sport.
Gatedrop: You mentioned earlier that you’d like the final to be longer. Do you think another improvement would be to have two finals instead of just the one? Or do you think one is enough but that it just needs to be longer?
Cedric Soubeyras: I really wish that the final would be longer. I’m used to racing in France where we have nine minutes and one lap which is already not long enough. What I feel on the bike is around ten minutes but here when it’s four minutes and I think even for the crowd a longer final would be interesting because riders would get a little bit tired.
You can see in the finals there’s still fight in the riders but then bang, we stop! It’s like, we could see better. I really hope that Matt Bates will think about it, to make them a little bit longer. How a rider prepares physically has to be a point of how you win. At the moment, okay, all the riders are ready but it should be maybe double the time.
Gatedrop: Moving on from the Arenacross series, I believe you will be going on to do a few of the AMA Supercross rounds when this series finishes. Do you know which rounds yet and what are your targets for that series?
Cedric Soubeyras: I know that I’m going to do five rounds. Just after London, I will take my flight to Orlando and I will stay over there for one month and a half. It’s pretty important for me to go there to get some speed for the French Supercross championship.
I just want to make it to the finals and I will work for that. You know, I’m really pumped for it. During the training in the week I work for this, more for the US than the Arenacross you know. That’s maybe why I feel a little bit upset that I see the finish line too early.
Gatedrop: In terms of a team in America, have you anything sorted for the five rounds you will do?
Cedric Soubeyras: I will be with my French team, JPM and I will be on a Suzuki for sure. I will have all the same sponsors that I have in France. I will just send an engine and get a bike when I’m over there, I will try my best!
Gatedrop: Have you watched the first few rounds of the series, what’s your thoughts on it so far?
Cedric Soubeyras: Sure, I watched it and I was sure that Marvin (Musquin) would win but I didn’t expect him to get injured that fast. I hope he can come back strong.
Talking about myself, I think when I see the level around fifteen and twenty, that’s where I see myself. Maybe not always fifteenth because between tenth and fifteenth is kind of impossible when you haven’t got a factory bike, when you’re not training in US and when you’re not ready for that. Being in the final and around fifteenth would be really good for me.
Gatedrop: Just moving onto the outdoor season, have you any plans for Motocross yet?
Cedric Soubeyras: No, no, I need to go back to France at the end of March because there’s the French motocross championship. It starts before that but I need to be there for my team a little bit even if I don’t ride, just to be there. They pay me and I need to be around the team as much as I can, I will be there to do five or six motocross races and after I will go back to Supercross at around the beginning of June.
Gatedrop: Last question, do you feel you have any unfinished business to do in the MXGP paddock in future or would you be ruling it out?
Cedric Soubeyras: MXGP, I don’t even look. I know that the level in MXGP is incredibly fast but it’s not my thing. I’m focused on Supercross and a little bit in Arenacross, that’s my thing.
Pic: Nigel McKinstry