Stephen Rubini opens up on USA adventure ending his season racing the AMA Nationals
Stephen Rubini recently announced that he will finish his 2023 season racing in America at the final three rounds of the AMA Nationals. The French talent moved to the 450cc this year as a rookie after a good 250cc career racing the EMX250 series and getting competitive results in the MX2 World Championship.
Rubini actually had a deal lined up to race the 250cc AMA Nationals class with Phoenix Honda Racing but at the last moment the team decided to pull out of racing the Nationals which was a blow. However, Rubini will have support from BUD Racing to race a 450cc.
DailyMX recently got up with the likeable French rider to discuss his opportunity in USA.
On securing a ride in America…
“The 2023 program was mainly made up of the French Elite Championship, plus the grand prix on the side. I’d been wanting to go to the USA for a few years already, and I thought this year was the time to go. So I really started to get organized. Basically, I was to have a contract with the Phoenix Honda Racing team, everything was done and all I had to do was pack my bags. Unfortunately, just before the French Grand Prix, I got the bad news: they were no longer going to compete in the US Motocross Championship, as all their riders were taking part in the World Supercross Championship. So I had to start my search all over again, talking to a lot of teams without much success, although a lot of people helped me in my search. I finally had to decide to go to the USA as a privateer.”
“Honestly, having a name in Europe – and even if it’s not very important – didn’t do anything for my search in the USA but I feel like saying, it doesn’t do much for me in Europe either. There are a lot of good riders out there, so it’s hard to stand out from the crowd. Originally, the plan was to do outdoor racing in the 250 class, so I could show what I was capable of, and then maybe get a ride for Supercross and outdoor racing later on. But going private, it was far too complicated to get a competitive bike.”
On the support from BUD Racing…
“Bud Racing helps me in many ways. For example, I don’t have to worry about bikes or parts. We’ve organized everything so that I don’t have to think about equipment or bikes. It’s the TPJ Racing structure that will take the bike to the races, so that’s a big relief. There’s also Bruno Verhaeghe (from VRT KTM), who owns a house in California, which is occupied by Dimitri Rolando. So I’m staying with him during my stay and I’ll be flying out for the races. A friend of mine is going to give me a hand with the mechanics; it’s going to be quite an experience!”
“It’s clear that I’m going to make myself dream! I’m happy to be able to live this experience with a friend of mine. We’re really going to enjoy it, and our aim is to do top 10s or better! The Europeans are doing well, and we can see that they’re achieving great results, like Romain Pape. I’ve had a lot of fun this year in the French Elite MX1 Championship! The Honda SR team was really cool with me and they really supported me! In the MXGP World Championship, things were more complicated. I only took part in 3 events and the level was really high. It was hard for me to get anywhere near the top 10, even though I’m capable of it.”
“As for what’s next, I don’t have any plans at the moment. I’ve just left everything in Europe to move to the USA! I don’t know what the future holds, and I have to say it’s pretty exciting! In the best of all possible worlds, I’d like to stay here in the USA. Supercross is of course in the back of my mind, I’d even say it’s in the back of my mind. In the US, if you want to find something, you have to do Supercross.”
Quotes via: DailyMX