Valentin Teillet on signing Tom Guyon and turning down Fantic support
Valentin Teillet has recently announced the signing of Tom Guyon for the 2024 season to be under the awning of the 737 Performance GasGas Oxmoto team.
Kevin Frelaud from DailyMX recently caught up with Teillet to discuss Guyon and the fact he turned down an offer to run the official EMX125 fantic team in 2024.
You can read the entire interview, here.
On Tom Guyon and his potential…
From the very first exchanges, I could see that Tom had lost confidence because of his injuries. I’m “lucky” enough to have experienced injuries in my career, and to understand them. I think Tom needs to enjoy himself again, to feel good within his team, and that’s what I’m going to try to put in place in 2024. I want him to arrive in the morning with a smile on his face, and leave in the evening satisfied. We’re going to build on this all winter long so that he arrives at the start of the year with maximum confidence, that’s the objective. Tom’s had quite a few problems recently, so we’re going to build on them, without rushing things. People forget that he’s still young, but he’s only 21 and he’s still a work in progress. If you take Mickael Maschio, I think he was world champion at 28. The advantage is that he’s mature now. That maturity, coupled with my work, I think can make a really good mix.
On Guyon’s plans for 2024 – French SX as well as the French Elite and a few MX2 GP’s…
For a French team, taking part in the Grand Prix at the present time means a substantial budget, and that’s not possible. I don’t want to jeopardize my private and financial life for the team, which is already not easy. So I suggested this program to Tom and he loves Supercross; we’d done some back then and he was already really comfortable. We even considered going higher. Obviously, we’re going to do a first year together in Motocross and Supercross, and if he feels comfortable and likes it, maybe we’ll open up to different projects, towards SX or MX US in 2025 if he’s happy. Tom’s only signed up for a year, but I like to look to the future. I liked the US as a rider, and I’d like it as a coach too. I’m not closed-minded about it, and Tom knows that. I simply made it clear to Tom: we’re not taking things down a notch in 2024, we’re just redeveloping pleasure, technique and confidence through the French championship and a few GPs. The aim is for him to bounce back again, as his career is still ahead of him.
On getting an offer from Fantic to become an official supported team…
Fantic’s offer was really substantial. Becoming an official EMX125 Fantic team was a major step forward. A lot of people are going to wonder why I didn’t accept. There are two reasons. The first is that I’m about to make a change in my life, and to become an official team would have meant taking up an enormous amount of time and putting my personal life on hold. There were also a number of additional conditions: there was a good budget when I signed up, but I still had to find a partnership afterwards. The second point is that I’m loyal to my partners. I’ve been with Shot personally for 8 years, I’ve been with Scorpion for 7, and we’ll be doing our fourth year with GasGas in 2024. Of course, with GasGas, it’s not at all the same resources, but in the meantime, they were there three years ago and they’re there year after year. We know the bikes, they’re appreciated by the riders; there’s a continuity and loyalty that I wanted to keep. There’s also OxMoto, which sells GasGas as well as 737 Performance. At my riding school, we see a lot of GasGas because the riders want to have this image, close to the team; there’s an interesting synergy. I still hope that one day, KTM, Husqvarna or GasGas Europe will take an interest in the team and believe in me. Leaving a brand is great, but coming back afterwards is more complicated. We’ve played the loyalty card and I hope it will pay off.
The Fantic contract was a three-year deal. I didn’t take the risk because I was already in discussions with Tom Guyon at the time. There’s more to life than money, and the challenge with Tom was a direct kick in the pants. If I left with Fantic, I’d only be riding for the EMX125 team. No Tom, but no younger riders either, because Fantic doesn’t do 65s or 85s. We could have done one part Fantic, another GasGas, I don’t know. It would have been very complicated to manage, and I can’t plant my riders because I had a big offer. Maybe 95% of people would have done it, but not me. I won’t regret this decision, maybe it won’t pay off, but in the meantime, I also want to be happy in my personal life, and given my numbers for 2024, I’m over-motivated and already enjoying it.
It’s also important to know that Fantic would have imposed riders on me, riders that I would have had full-time. I have a riding school on the side, it’s also my pleasure and my livelihood and it wasn’t compatible. With my riding school, it’s like with the riders in my team, I live the thing to 140% with 737 School and 737 Boost. I have one clear objective: to help my riders progress so that they can be proud of themselves. I can’t divide myself into 5 parts, and a lot of things had to be taken into account.
Interview: Kevin Frelaud