Interview: Maxime Renaux on Lommel and a tough few years with injury

Since moving up from the 125cc to the 250cc, Maxime Renaux has had to face a lot of injuries which has halted his career. On the 125cc Renaux was tipped as the next big thing but for the last two years he’s been out injured.

Coming into this year it was important for the talented French rider to stay injury free and get a full season under his belt. Unfortunately, Renaux has had a little setback after breaking his collarbone but he’s put that well and truly behind him which is encouraging.

Renaux showed race winning speed in the deep sand of Lommel as he won the first moto of the weekend. He ended up second overall which is encouraging.

We caught up with Renaux to discuss his season, a tough few years with injury and his expectations for the MX2 World Championship next year.

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Gatedrop: Maxime, overall it was a very good weekend for you. Can you just talk me through your races here at Lommel?

Maxime Renaux: It was great racing this weekend. I ended up second overall so it’s not so bad and I’m really quite happy with that. In the first moto I came back from ninth position at the start to come back to first so it was a great race. I had a little crash but it was still a great race. The second moto was quite more difficult because I didn’t take a good start, I think I was eighteenth after the first corner and then came back to third but I had some bike issues. I broke the pipe so the bike was losing a little bit of power but I’m quite happy with my riding. I was able to fight with the front guys and win one moto so it was a good race and a good weekend. I thank the team for their hard work, it’s good.

Gatedrop: Even though you’re happy with your riding and speed which you should be, is a little bit of you disappointed not to get the overall win? That’s probably the best you’ve rode all year!

Maxime Renaux: For sure, it was a little bit disappointing to not take the overall win because I know I could have done it here. But we will see the next time in Switzerland, to come back stronger and take better starts. Hopefully I won’t have bike issues and maybe get the first overall win of the year.

Gatedrop: Coming into this season, what where your expectations? You basically spent the last two years injured and on the sofa watching from home. What where your expectations and are you happy with your season or do you want more?

Maxime Renaux: Yeah, I had some problems physically because I broke my collarbone after like three races this year. In Russia it was a good race, I did third in the first moto but I had a tyre problem, the moose came out so that was disappointing because I was going for the win at this GP. I did a good race in Russia but I’ve been getting bad starts. Now I am happy to comeback after the collarbone break it’s been good because it’s only like two months ago. I feel good, I work hard physically and as you can see I was good at the end of the race so I’m happy with that. Step by step I feel ready to fight and go to MX2 next year with this team.

Gatedrop: Just on the last two years, just how frustrating where they seeing your competitors at the races and you couldn’t do anything being injured for such a long time, it must have been tough?

Maxime Renaux: For sure, it was very frustrating. I just wanted to ride and fight for this title but never mind, now it’s in the past and I just want to forget the bad period. Now I think I change some things mentally and the way to work to progress so I’m happy. I think I work in a good way now and we work step by step, not too fast but not too slow. I want to grow and to fight again with some guys I was fighting with on the 125cc.

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Gatedrop:  Just on your time racing the 125cc, you had the red plate and it looked like you were going to win the championship at one stage ahead of Jorge Prado before your injury. How frustrating is it seeing him ride now, he could be world champion this year, who’s to say that couldn’t have been you without the injuries?

Maxime Renaux: For sure, he didn’t have the same way as me for going there, he didn’t have so many problems. For sure, he’s a great rider and a great technique. I think one of the best of the world championship for sure. It’s frustrating for me because I was fighting with him for 125cc but I see he has done a really good job working and now I try to follow his way. I would like to fight with him again sometime, we will see. I don’t want to go too fast too soon, I will keep working and hopefully one day be battling with him again

Gatedrop: The news dropped last week that you will race the MX2 World Championship next year, finally we’ll see you in the World Championship! What’s your expectations for the series and in Loket you finished tenth overall which must give you plenty of confidence?

Maxime Renaux: Yeah it was a great race. I finished two times in the top ten so it was good. Now I just need to get more confidence and get better starts. I’m on a good way and I want to work and go close to the top five next year, it would be really good. Now I don’t want to say top five for next year because we will see how the winter goes. It can be good, it can be worse, we will see how the working goes. I just want to work now and not make the same mistakes as before and go too fast to go down again.

Gatedrop: A lot of French guys struggle with the sand but you have no issues with the sand which means you’re good in both hard pack and sand, that should help you for MX2?

Maxime Renaux: For sure, it helps me because I think for the championship you have to be good in both grounds. I work a lot on the 125cc in the sand so I think I’ve got a gain from that. Also, in the hard pack I feel good so I think that’s one of my good parts.

Interview: Andy McKinstry

Pic: Nigel McKinstry