Interview: Livia Lancelot talks 114 Motorsport Honda and 2021

The 114 Motorsports Honda team recently announced their 2021 rider line up to take on the MX2 World Championship.

The team have signed up the talented Ruben Fernandez who finished ninth in the world this year with the private SDM-Corse Yamaha team. Joining Fernandez will be young British talent, Joel Rizzi who has a chance to race with the best 250cc riders in the world.

Young French talent, Axel Louis will stay with the team for another year in the EMX250 championship.

We caught up with the 114 Motorsports Honda team boss, Liva Lancelot to discuss a range of topics.

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GateDrop: Livia, the team is confirmed for the 2021 season and for the third season in a row it’s a different line up. How happy are you to have confirmed Ruben Fernandez and Joel Rizzi to contest the 2021 MX2 World Championship?

Lancelot:  Yes, we have again a different rider line up, the goal of the team is to provide young talent to HRC, like we did with Mitch Evans. It worked once but unfortunately, this season we didn’t reach our goals. I really like the new line up, Ruben is a fighter on the bike and I like this spirit! I’m sure with good preparation with us he can improve again. Joel is incredibly young and already did some great moto’s in EMX250 so I’m sure he can surprise people next year.

GateDrop: Have both riders signed one-year deals or longer?

Lancelot: Ruben has an option and Joel a multi-year deal with us.

GateDrop: Fernandez has improved a lot over the past few years. What do you think he can do on a 114 Honda next year?

Lancelot: With what he did this season the next step is to jump on the box.  I’m sure with his talent, spirit and our motivation to help him in the Team we can achieve this goal.

GateDrop: Watching Fernandez ride he always looks to be pushing very hard. Do you think that’s case of being on a privateer bike battling with factory riders? Is your plan to give him a better so he is more comfortable at the front which should lead to less crashes?

Lancelot:  This is hard to answer, he has his own style and I don’t want to change this. He had to fight hard because he often started mid pack. We will try to work on that – with a good start there is less risk.

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GateDrop: I have to say I was quite surprised when I heard the Rizzi links a few months ago – what’s the idea of putting him in MX2 so soon and was there ever any chance he’d race EMX250 with your team in 2021?

Lancelot:  When you look at Benistant or Guadagnini in MX2 this year you can see that the level in EMX is really high. 2021 will be hard for Joel, but he will learn a lot from the tracks and racing more. The real goal is to get him ready for the 2022 season.

GateDrop: Rizzi clearly has a lot of talent but MX2 is a big jump up, what do you realistically want from him next year?

Lancelot: For the moment I can’t answer this, at his age you can improve so fast. I will be able to answer after 2 months riding with us. For the moment I would say between 10-15 .

GateDrop: Axel Louis stays with the team for another year. In Spain he showed what he can do on the hard pack. With another winter behind him, he could surprise next year…

Lancelot: Yes, Axel isn’t a sand rider, he improved already a lot but he likes much more the hard pack. Unfortunately for him in 2020 the only race was Spain – there we could see his real talent. With another winter with Joel and Ruben, I think he can really show something!

Pic: 114 Motorsports Honda

GateDrop: Just on Bailey Malkiewicz, you worked with him this year and despite injury problems and riding with no ACL, I thought he done well towards the end of the season. What was he like to work with him and ultimately why did you decide to go another direction for 2021?

Lancelot: Bailey was unlucky this season with his ACL. I believe in his talent, but there is still a lot of work to fight with the top 5 and even the top 10. At the moment I didn’t see him ready mentally to work as hard as the guys at the front. I really hope that he will prove to me that I’m wrong. He is a good kid and deserves good results. It was good to have him this year.

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GateDrop: Nathan Crawford also showed some good pace but had a lot of bad luck. What was he like to work with?

Lancelot: Nathan was really unlucky this season. The pace was good during the motos, but he was struggling during the time practice. He is a hard worker so I’m sure he will bounce back in Australia.

GateDrop: Morgan Lesiardo was drafted in as a replacement rider and actually showed some good pace. Where you happy with his performances despite not a lot of time on the bike? Is there still a chance he could stay for the 2021 season or has that completely been ruled out?

Lancelot: Morgan did really good with only a few hours on the bike before Spain where he replaced Nathan for the first time – I was happy about his results. With a good winter I’m sure he can be in the top 10 more often. The situation isn’t completely closed, we are still trying to offer him something for 2021.

Pic: 114 Motorsports Honda

GateDrop: The provisional calendar was recently revealed. What’s your thoughts on it? There’s quite a lot of fly away races on the calendar which is quite surprising under the circumstances…

Lancelot: Honestly when I see the calendar I’m getting stressed. The economical situation at the moment is really bad. But everything has the time to change,  so let’s wait and see!

Interview: Andy McKinstry

Pics: Shot by Bavo/114 Motorsports Honda