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Interview: Julien Lieber

Interview: Julien Lieber
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Standing Construct Yamaha rider Julien Lieber started the season off very impressively and got an overall podium in Qatar. Since the series got back to Europe the results started to get worse but he had an injury and was going through a difficult time as he explains in the following interview.

The results are starting to improve again and I feel that we haven’t seen the best from Julien Lieber yet, he will be one to watch out for in 2016. With Valentin moving to the MXGP class it means that Julien could become the number one rider in the team which could have a big effect.

With two GP’s left don’t be surprised to see Julien get another overall podium in Mexico and USA as he is showing good form at the moment. He will also represent Belgium at the Nations for just the second time were they will hope to go one better than last year.

We caught up with Julien at Assen to discuss his season and what he expects for the 2016 season!

Gatedrop: It was a good weekend for you, you must be pleased at how it went?

Julien Lieber: Yeah, the first moto I had a good start, I started in fifth I think and passed two riders to finish third, it was pretty tough, physically I wasn’t there at the end, I was a bit tired. The second moto I had a bad start, I started in twelfth and came back to sixth but then I struggled with my googles so I had to take them off five minutes before the end, it was not a good thing but yeah I finished fourth overall again. It’s a bit shit because I missed the podium, I am disappointed because I really wanted to get on the podium again after the podium in Qatar. I finished fourth overall but that is good points for the championship so it wasn’t too bad.

Gatedrop: You were also very fast at Lommel, you seem to be better in the sand this year?

Julien Lieber: I don’t think I’m better in the sand, I think that the difference is bigger in the sand between the riders. I am always getting bad starts but in the sand the difference is bigger between the riders so I can pass them. I think in hard pack if I get a good start I can also get good results. We had some bike problems at the start of the year but for next year I am confident we will find the problem. For this year we have to finish like this and hopefully get some more good results.

Gatedrop: The first three GP’s were really good for you but then you weren’t quite as impressive, what would you put that down too?

Julien Lieber: Yeah, the problem was that in Thailand I had a big crash and I had an injury to my hip, then in Argentina I had a good first moto in pain and second moto I crashed on the injury so I had a lot of pain. When I came back my grandfather died so I couldn’t train for two weeks which meant I went to Arco with no training and Valkenswaard also. The results were going down and down, mentally I was not good and in the head I was not good. Also, I stopped training with Yves Demaria at that moment because I was really not good. After the GP of France I went to the South of France with Yves and from this moment it gets better and better.

Gatedrop: You are working with Yves Demaria, what kind of influence does he have on you?

Julien Lieber: Yeah, he has a program when I train alone. I know exactly what I have to do and he knows it.  I think it worked really good with Valentin, it’s a shame he had a problem with his foot because it stopped a bit his good feeling on the bike. I think Yves program is really good and I believe in him. For next year I am sure I am going to be ready.

Gatedrop: Tim Mathys always seems to get the best out of his riders, what is it he does to help his riders?

Julien Lieber: Yeah, he tries to give the best that he can, he does everything and we have the best bikes, the best mechanics and the best team. I think we are one of the best teams but it has been difficult this year because we had to test during the season because before we had no parts. It was a tough season for everyone, the team and the mechanics as they had to work a lot. I would really like to Thank Tim, my mechanic and the entire team because they do a great job and it is not always easy for us the riders and for them to understand but its good.

Gatedrop: You have never really been a consistent top five rider, do you think next year you could become that rider and also challenge for podiums and race wins?

Julien Lieber: Yeah, that is the goal for next year to always be in the top five or top three. Like I said if we work on the bike, we will have some parts arrive after the season and I am pretty sure that it will help us a lot at the start of next year. I think when I can take good starts that I have the potential and the speed to ride at the front.

Gatedrop: You must be excited to be riding the Nations again for Belgium?

Julien Lieber: Yeah, again, last year was really cool and we were able to finish second. This year we have lost Kevin Strijbos as he had an injury which is shit. Normally Ken De Dycker will ride and I hope he is motivated. I know he has the talent and he is motivated to come, I’m pretty sure he will ride really good.

Gatedrop: Last year you seemed nervous but now you have last year under your belt you should have less nerves and pressure this year?

Julien Lieber: Yeah, for sure it’s the biggest race of the year and the whole country supports the riders so if you do bad it is shit. If you do good then it is good for the entire country, it gives you a lot of pressure but this year is my second year so I am going to go there with a lot less pressure for sure.

Interview: Andy McKinstry


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