The FIM Magazine - Ride With Us - N° 69

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Steve mcqueen


an exceptional year of racing FIM MOTOCROSS WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP



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A Year against the Clock MAXXIS FIM Enduro World Championship ride

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Giuseppe Luongo Interview STANDINGS


An exceptional Year of Racing FIM Motocross World Championship ride

Publishing Director: Guy Maitre


Chief Editor: Isabelle Larivière Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme 11, route Suisse – 1295 Mies – Suisse Tel : +41-22 950 95 00 – Fax : +41-22 950 95 01 @ : website :

VENI,VIDI,VICI American Style FIM Motocross of Nations gallery

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Photos: François Gragnon/Paris Match/Scoop 1964 Dario Agrati Mathieu Talayssat Nick Shotter Zanzani/Youthstream Juan Pablo Acevedo Brigitte Zufferey Courtesy of AMA Jake Miller Courtesy Dave Ekins Patrik Lundin Christopher Horne Tatiana Savina

Roger De Coster, US Team Manager FIM INSIDE PAddock trial


Questions for Champions! Laia Sanz & Toni Bou ride


Spain’s Super Six FIM Trial des Nations VINTAGE

Lay-out & Printing: OIKO SERVICE srl via Po 74 66020 S.Giovanni Teatino Chieti - Italy


Steve MCQueen Hollywood Hero, Motorcycle Fan TECH TALK

FIM Magazine n° 69 Issued September-October 2009


Past issues available on request

ÖHLINS: On the Brink of the Electronic Revolution GALLERY

The articles published in this magazine do not necessarily reflect the official position of the FIM.


The content of this publication is based on the best knowledge and information available at the time the articles were written.


Emil Sayfutdinov Speedway as a school of life ROAD BOOK NOVEMBER/DECEMBER



Vito IPPOLITO FIM President

Dear readers, The 2009 season is coming to an end and the FIM has just had its Biennial Session held in Geneva in October. Besides the usual agenda and preparation for the 2010 season, I am very happy that a substantial majority of our delegates approved, during a very transparent consultation process, a set of governance principles which will redesign the structure of our organisation in order to better face the challenges of the 21st century New statutes enacting these principles will be drafted and presented to the General Assembly for approval at the 2010 FIM Congress in Macau. I sincerely hope that together we will be able to start building up a stronger and more efficient FIM in the years to come. Good news also concerns the FIM family which continues to grow. Three new members have joined: Honduras, Jordan and Tadzhikistan allowing us to pass the magic number of 100 and the FIM now counts on 101, a great achievement. Constant fight against doping in compliance with the WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency) Code is a priority for the FIM and a Registered Testing Pool will be implemented shortly. We must keep a strong position in this matter as all other big international sports federations are doing. We cannot let doping jeopardise our efforts to promote the values of a clean and true universal sport. Another major challenge for us is to reduce the impact of our sport on the environment. We are working on the establishment of the first Championship intended for zero carbon motorcycles as of next year. But the reduction of the noise level is also an essential priority on which the FIM has been working for a long time. An agreement has now been found with the industry which will have to be extended very soon to all motorcycle sport disciplines. I am confident that the efforts we are investing in this matter will quickly prove to be fruitful. You have in your hands the fourth edition of the new FIM Magazine Ride With Us! It runs stories about several sporting events in Motocross, Trial, Enduro and Speedway, some of them which are among the most prominent in our calendar, such as the Motocross of Nations and the International Six Days’ Enduro. In connection with the Six Days we pay tribute to a man who was a Hollywood Hero, a legend in the history of cinema, but also – and for us it is of prime importance – a true motorcycle rider, a pugnacious competitor and a real fan of motor sports: Steve McQueen will be remembered not only for his talent as an actor but also for his skills as a motorcycle rider and car driver – both of which can be seen in various movies - for our constantly renewed delight. Last but not least: as this magazine goes to press, some Road Racing Championships are not yet finished so we will come back to them in our next issue. Stay tuned!




The Finnish rider Mika Ahola regularly stood on the podium of the WEC running towards a new crown in the E1 class, the third world title in his career. ///

A YEAR AGAINST THE CLOCK What a season! The year 2009 of the MAXXIS FIM Enduro World Championship will remain in history as the most spectacular one. In front of a public delighted by the introduction of the Super-Specials at night, a young, impetuous and talented generation shook the established order. But in the end it is the experience of the hardline Enduro riders that comes to the fore. The winners of the season are from Spain, France and Finland, just to remind that Enduro remains a European specialty. Here is an account of the high points of the 2009 WEC.


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Johnny Aubert had an incredible season. He won all the races before the last two rounds and secured his second world title in the E2 Class even before the end of the season. ///

First, it is necessary to set the scene of the FIM Enduro World Championship in order to understand what is at stake: eight Grand Prix, among them the discovery of Mexico, which is a breeding ground for the Juniors and the three Senior classes. Not to be forgotten is a widely represented industry despite the context of concern with not less than twelve manufacturers equally divided between Japanese and European. It is simply the most heterogeneous Championship of the FIM. At the beginning of the season the Enduro 1 class was dominated by the title holder Mika Ahola. In the rocky grounds of Portugal or Italy as well as in the mud of Spain, the Finn brilliantly controlled the first meetings. Like fine wines – of which he is a lover – he is improving with age as he is also the oldest one in the class at 34 years. Demoralised, the Italian Thomas Oldrati and Simone Albergoni, or even the Finnish Motocross rider Eero Remes, are just left to fight for the second and third places on the rostrum of a Grand Prix. Only one rider keeps on fighting, the best 2008 rookie, the pugnacious Frenchman Antoine Meo. In order to hope to shine in the WEC, it is necessary to have learnt the three types of Special Tests which regulate the Championship. One needs to perfect one’s riding technique in the Cross Test, which is a timed course of pure speed and jumps. It is also necessary to have the makings of an Enduro rider, with the qualities of improvisation and courage in the Enduro Test, where the riders race at full throttle along forest tracks. It is necessary to master obstacle crossings and an experience in Trials is always welcome to enter Extreme Tests. And it is necessary, moreover, to have nerve and the ability to bluff. In fact, in the absence of physical contact, the rivalry between Enduro riders includes words and glances. Antoine Meo has only two seasons of


experience in the WEC, but still his “mad dog” style and his clever look make him a master of intimidation as much as the leader Mika Ahola. The Slovak quagmire would once again give reason to Ahola who as from then had to be happy in securing a place on the rostrum at each heat to get the world crown. But the clockwork results of the Finn are eclipsed by the remarkable feats of the Frenchman. At over 2000 metres high on the Mexican plateau of Valle de Bravo, Ahola and his motorcycle suffocate. On his side, Meo will align six consecutive heat wins, getting the Grand Prix of Mexico, Greece and the French final. The gap shrinks to 15 points and one might think that one more race could have changed the positions. But, even without the crowns of the first place, Mika Ahola regularly stands on the podium of the WEC and is running irremediably towards a new crown in the E1 class, the third title in his career. “It is the first time I feel relaxed this season, said the Finn at the finish line. These last events were particularly stressful for me as I always thought it was easier to ride at the maximum without asking too many questions rather than try to secure a result like I had to do. Even so, I was convinced I could become Champion as of mid-season, thank s to my considerable advantage. But it was really long”.

There are only two riders who finished all the Enduro 2 rounds, which shows the level of difficulty of this class which mixes 450cc 4-stroke and 250cc 2-stroke. At the start of the 2009 season, the sensation was the entry of BMW Motorrad with a top team. The German manufacturer hired in particular the man considered as the best rider of all times, the Finn Juha Salminen. As for the 2008 Champion Johnny Aubert, he changed teams, taking the place of Juha Salminen at KTM. After having 7



Antoine Meo has aligned six consecutive heat wins in the E1 Class, winning the Grand Prix of Mexico,Greece and the French final. ///

expressed their ambitions of victories and titles in the press throughout the winter, the BMW Bavarians would be hit by a real setback. They would have to wait until the third Grand Prix to be on the podium. “I do not know what is happening but maybe you will tell me, said an irritated Salminen on TV after the first round. “Our whole week-end is a failure, and I am really far from my best. I just would like to know what we are missing to get closer to them”. The diff icult start of the season for Juha Salminen contrasts with the incredible course of Johnny Aubert. He, who was sometime too discreet when he was a Grand Prix Motocross rider, knew how to assert his personality on the Enduro scene. Attacked in the downpours at the Slovak Grand Prix by Bartosz Oblucki, Aubert achieved his most difficult win. Two rounds before the last one, Aubert injured his hand and despite the pain managed to secure his second World title even before the end of the season. “I read a lot of things before the season, such as it would be difficult for me to repeat the title, especially facing the means introduced by BMW and Juha Salminen. I am happy to prove that I am here. I have had an incredible season, in which I won all the races and this second crown comes at the same time as I have become a father for the second time. 2009 will remain for me as the year of happiness.”

Happiness for Aubert… work for Salminen, who has made the BMW engineers his companions in this adventure. It was necessary to offer a new start for the German manufacturer in the WEC. After clinching a series of second places far from the winner Aubert, delivery came in the absence of the injured French rider. From the depth of his clear cold eyes, Juha finally shows


some satisfaction with his heat wins in Greece and France: “Of course Johnny was absent but the flavour of success in a Grand Prix remains the same. You have to fight to get there and I have the impression somehow that our work was rewarded”. Of the year 2009 in Enduro 2, one must also remember the rivalry between the two previous Junior Champions, the Swede Joakim Ljunggren and the Spaniard Cristobal Guerrero who, with two contradictory styles, proved that Enduro is also a question of culture. Finally we must remember the name of the winner of the last round the British David Knight, riding a Kawasaki, or the history of the most famous divorce in the history of the WEC.

In 2009 David Knight started the season in Enduro 3 impeccably dressed in a shirt sporting the BMW logo, integrating the dream-team of the Championship. But Knight, double Enduro World Champion who spent two seasons in the American GNCC Championship and its dollars, did not have the patience of his team-mate Juha Salminen. After disasters in Portugal, Spain and Sardinia, he started to speak out loudly against the clean German structure. David Knight is also never at a loss for words with the media, and thus in a common agreement the WEC confirmed the divorce between the BMW Motorrad and the Isle of Man rider. The new “bad boy” of Enduro remains a rider with an unwavering will. With the help of his friend Paul Bird, owner of a Superbike team, the British rider prepared a Kawasaki with the only target being to be a winner again, passing to the Enduro 2 class. The mission was accomplished at the last round of the season. “Fourth and third in Greece, second and first in France is my progression in the WEC, rejoiced David Knight. I am so happy to get here,

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Ivan Cervantes, at 27 years, has one of the biggest lists of awards in the history of Enduro, with already four titles in the WEC and a FIM Indoor Enduro World Cup. ///

because I had a rotten year. I always kept confidence in myself, whereas other did not. I simply thank the few people who supported me. “Knighter” is back and in 2010 I will be even faster”. The short passage of David Knight in Enduro 3 at the beginning of the year will thus not leave many memories in the larger capacity class. This class mixing 500cc 4-stroke and 300cc 2-stroke is certainly the most hard-fought one in the WEC. Getting older and body wasted by the seasons, the current Champion Samuli Aro could not stay at the top. Without any wins, he finished the 2009 WEC injured, in the fourth place of the Championship. For the Frenchman Sebastien Guillaume, a knock-out would perturb his season. Very close to the trees at high speed in Finland’s special stages, the Husqvarna rider made a mistake. He would have to wait for three rounds before regaining total coordination of his movements, and remain happy with a third place in the Championship. His fellow countr yman Christophe Nambotin came as a surprise. Second in the 2009 WEC and making a sensational end of season, the rider of the Catalan manufacturer Gas Gas will certainly regret his mistakes of the beginning of the season. Precisely in this first decisive part Ivan Cervantes gathered a lot of points. The Spaniard rediscovered the large capacity engines brilliantly, and he clinched each of his ten wins following the same scenario. Each time in the last lap of competition, when his opponents started to feel tired, Ivan Cervantes was able to increase his efforts with a lot of selfmotivation and self-questioning. “We had a great Championship”, explained the Spaniard who clinched the title at the final in France.

“I must congratulate Sebastien Guillaume and Christophe Nambotin who were my opponents throughout the season. Together we fought in equal conditions and the races were often decided very close in the last moments. But this Championship is good for me, back home”. Unpredictable, spectacular, “El Torito” is also building up for himself, at 27 years, one of the biggest lists of awards in the history of Enduro, with already four titles in the WEC and an Indoor Enduro World Cup.

The Enduro World Championship is decididly Spanish in 2009, as in the Junior Championship the winner is called Oriol Mena. In the class for under 23 year-olds he is certainly the most experienced rider as he totals four seasons at world level. During the year, he had to fight against the promising French rider Jeremy Joly, until his opponent was pushed to a mistake and injury. But Oriol Mena is also the story of revenge over life and comeback after a serious injury two years ago. Disf igured following an accident in the Spanish Championship, the Catalan had to face a real hard time to be able to come back to the world scene. Physically and mentally metamorphosed by this painful experience, Oriol Mena was also the most mature Junior rider in 2009… and finally the fastest. His tears during the prize-giving ceremony of the Championship brought big emotion in the traditionally tough world of the WEC. They added more to the heavy emotion which accompanied the international retirements of the Italian rider Alessandro Belometti, the Scandinavian giants in Enduro, Anders Eriksson with his seven titles, Bjorne Carlsson and his 1998 title and Samuli Aro, five times World Champion. In 2009 a generation quits the WEC. Another one is coming. by Alexandre Vigneau




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FACES OF THE SIX DAYS France for the Women’s Cup and for the Trophy, Spain for the Junior: this is what will stay as the list of award winners of the 2009 FIM ISDE in Figueira da Foz. But since their creation, the Six Days have always been more than an Enduro international competition. It is first of all an adventure, mechanic and human, a story told here by tired faces who marked this Portuguese edition.

French team: Nambotin Christophe, Bourgeois Marc, Gauthier Julien, Germain Marc,Thain Rodrig, Meo Antoine. ///

Christophe Nambotin The leader of the victorious French team is also the individual winner of the ISDE in Figueira da Foz. This recognition comes as a reward for a rider who has a meticulous approach of the race, and with a quiet character. Christophe Nambotin’s path is even more astonishing when one knows he is the only rider at the world top level to have a profession, as he is an ambulance driver. Becoming the hero of the Six Days at only 25 years of age, he succeeds Ivan Cervantes and integrates the private circle of off-road big names. “ I did not really think I would be able to ride at such a good level during the whole week. I stayed in the lead of the overall classification during the six days of racing. I only knew that I was fit as I really did finish my French Championship and World Championship seasons very well. But I came to Portugal with the 10

only intention of obtaining a good result for my team, and anyway with my partners, personal ambitions were never taken into account. I am just starting to realize that until now there are only big names who achieved a win in the ISDE, and among them very few French riders. I have not been riding in Enduro for a long time, and in my mind the ISDE have always been a kind of “last race”, the toughest of all. I took part in four editions, in New Zealand, in Chile and Portugal, and each time I promised to myself never to come back again. But I have to acknowledge that with a team with such a determination as France has, motivation is multiplied by ten. The quest for this precious title is what tells us to come back. Of this Portuguese edition I will remember the variety of the special stages and the tracks we crossed. We had sand, holes, stones and nice soil. I think each rider could express himself at least once in the conditions he most likes.”

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Luis Correia

Ludivine Puy

For his first participation in the Six Days, Luis Correia was frankly brilliant. He finished second in his class, Enduro 2, and climbed up to the sixth place of the prestigious overall class, ahead of many experienced Enduro riders. Add to this a nice face, and all the ingredients were gathered to turn this young 23 year old Portuguese the newcomer and big star of the 2009 ISDE.

The attractive French girl is really the best woman Enduro rider in the world. And she does not owe very much to the fastest boys. Crowned in the individual and team classifications, as in the Chilean and Greek editions, the Gas Gas rider considers herself as an Enduro ambassador for women throughout the world, which she defends with a real female insistance.

“ I finish the Six Days happy. For a first participation, this result is unexpected, and goes beyond my hopes. To finish in the sixth place of the individual general classification is the best thing that could happen to me until now in my career. I must say that I did not know anything about Enduro before I came here. I am just a good motocross rider and I clinched six titles in the Portuguese championship. My friends in the national team just asked me to join them in the adventure. I did not take time to think about it and said yes right away. Quickly I learned that Enduro is totally different from what I was used to doing. I do not feel completely at ease yet when there are some typical Enduro courses. In special stages, you have to know how to stay calm and better feel the bike and the terrain. You also do not know really the course either, so you have to keep some reserve. And I confess that I loved it. Today I have two passions, Enduro and Motocross. I did not receive any proposal for 2010 yet but I remain open to both universes. Maybe those ISDE will give a new direction to my career”.


“It is a real pleasure for me to win the Six Days with more rivalry than in the previous years. The difference of 8 minutes and 47 seconds with the Swedish team is not big. All the girls were a little bit anxious here, essentially us the French team because sand is really not our specialty. We went for a training in the sand two weeks before the Six Days to gain a few sensations. Our strategy was to avoid risks and mistakes, the other teams made them for us. Women’s Enduro is a really tough discipline. However, one can see that there are more and more girls joining in. So I think that we all have to continue in this direction: struggling while riding together with the boys, while the FIM continues to support us, even if it means adjusting the course for women. We are getting over a hurdle, and I have the impression that here in Portugal a movement is being born. We are 17 girls to finish the Six Days, and this is a historical fact for Enduro. For the last three years girls have been traveling thanks to this race, to Chile, Greece and this year to Portugal. Each time the welcome of the spectators was exceptional and the teams improved their performance. I travel to many events and everywhere in Europe I see countries ready to join us. Spanish girls asked me a lot of questions on the procedure established by the French team. There are five girls who compete in their Championship, their level needs some improvement but this will come fast. The Italian girls are also interested. For the moment their federation is delaying their entries because they think they do not have the required level. I think this is a mistake because you need to brake sometimes in order to make progress. I would like to see three or four nations more joining us in the Women’s Six Days and in the World Championship. I also think that when there are girls, there is more media and this is a good thing for our sport. This parity is a benefit indirectly to the promotion of female Enduro. We are all sportswomen of a high level, we spare our time for practicing, we are taking competition very seriously, and thus we deserve the consideration we get during the Six Days.”



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Oriol Mena

Paul Edmondson

The solid Catalan has met the toughest Six Days of his career. Victim of a heavy crash during the first day of competition, he kept on the adventure with his injured body, the pain preventing him from turning his head or closing his boots. His courage represents the sprit of the ISDE, where the team result is more important than the individual performance. The result is that thanks to Mena, the Spanish Juniors got back a World champion title.

Fast Eddy is too old to say how old he is. He owns a list of awards of a giant, but at the exit of the parc fermé he still keeps the enthusiasm of a hobby rider. His team of Great Britain did not reach the expected result, though, finishing in seventh place behind Portugal, but he reached his own goal: to become the holder of the record of Gold medals of the ISDE, with 17 awards. After the race, “Paulo” strolls in the paddock where each pit wears the colours of a country. He likes to listen to the stories of the race that gave the rhythm each day to the more than six hours of riding inflicted on the slaves of Enduro. For all of them, Paul Edmondson is a great Champion, and also the first supporter of the ISDE.

“These ISDE were tougher each day for me. I feel pain through my whole body and in particular on the left side, on which I crashed during the first special stages. Back in Spain, I think I will have a check-up made at the hospital, because I did not go to one yet. In fact I do not think I have anything broken…or maybe I prefer not to know! Quickly after the Six Days the Indoor Enduro World Cup will start, and I want to enter it. As a Junior World Champion on the WEC, I was in a certain way the leader of the Spanish team. I am very proud of the work done by my team because on my side I was not in a position to be at the maximum. The intervals remained very tight for the Juniors as the level of the teams was very homogeneous, and the competition is each time more an important target for certain federations who give everything to riders of under 23 years. Our first opponent, France, could not count on Jeremy Joly, injured, but could be based on riders such as Benoit Fortunato, with whom I am used to meeting in the Enduro World Championship. The ISDE is a long-run race and my team made the difference during the fourth day, in the sand, which was a decisive factor. For me, as a pure Enduro rider, the Six Days look like an end-of-the-year party. And personally I do not have the same motivation during the Six Days as during the normal season. In the WEC I want to win at any cost, it is an individual work for which you have to be at 100% everywhere, but not here. Nobody could stand for Six Days riding at the maximum. I will probably not keep an exceptional memory of my participation this year, because it was a bit spoiled by my injuries. The Six Days can also be very painful.”


“The memory of these Six Days will remain unforgettable, this is certainly one of the best editions I had ever taken part in. Ten years ago, four kilomettrs away from here, Coimbra welcomed the Six Days. I was not able to participate but I knew the beach of Figueira da Foz where I took part in a Grand Prix in 1993. To be honest, the course was much easier this year. With the rain, the region looks very different. In those days I was concentrating too much on the race and I was not taking time to look at the landscape. I did it differently this year, 16 years later! With time checks not so tight as in a Grand Prix, I could ride a bit more slowly to have a glance at the magic place we were riding through. We discovered an attractive place, and the ambiance around the event was very good, at the same level of the welcoming attitude of the Portuguese public. For me the Six Days remain an opportunity to meet old friends. Of course there is the competition, but our team unfortunately lost its chances as of the second day with the retirement of David Knight. He is without doubt our best Enduro rider. Without him, our team had a consistent week but knowing the level of France and Italy, we could not match them. For us, as for the benevolent people around us, the experience remains positive. While riding I also thought about all the riders who are far behind the professionals, the clubs. Full credit to them! This is an important event for them and I know they invest a lot of time and money. These people are the nature of our sport. Besides people like Nambotin, Aro and Remes, the amateurs are far from being fast but without them we would not have any Enduro. And I think that the Six Days belong to them!”.

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The Six Days have always been more than an Enduro international competition, it is first of all an adventure, mechanic and human... ///

DID YOU KNOW? Born in 1903 in Great Britain as “Six Days Reliability Trial”, the Six Days was the first international event organized under the supervision of the FIM as from 1913, under the name International Six Days Trial. The Six Days would take the name of Enduro only in 1980. The oldest off road motorcycle competition in the world has evolved enormously throughout the years. Each country may enter the class it wishes, a World Trophy team being composed of six riders, the Junior Trophy team riding with four riders and the Women’s Cup teams with three. These teams may delete their worst result every day, this is called a joker. In the Trophy, the best five results are counting towards the event every day.

Originally, the Trophy team was composed of riders from the country they were racing for, but they also had to ride machines manufactured in the country itself. As this criteria was limiting the participation of countries, the Vase d’Argent was introduced as from 1920, with four riders from the country, the origin of the motorcycles being free. There was also no longer a joker. A team which lost a rider during the competition would also lose any chance of achieving a good classification. These rules would change only very recently. In addition to the three main classes, it is also possible to enter club teams and manufacturer teams, or even individually. As in traditional Enduro, the riders must hold an average speed during the stages, and if they do not take any time penalty, they would race against time in a special stage. Contrary to the World Championship where the mechanic is free, at the ISDE only the


rider may touch his motorcycle, while the assistance teams may only help with liquids in the parc fermé: fuel, oil, brake liquid, water, etc…

Traditionally, the competition finishes on day six with a Motocross race, where it is the timing that is important, not the positions. As the Enduro riders are very close to each other, the “final cross” plays a particularly dramatic role at the end of the competition. The Six Days generally gather together the top world riders present on the World Championship, but also riders from more modest Federations. There are thus professional and amateur riders competing together for one week as there is no required level to enter the competition. In Figueira da Foz, 24 nationalities represented by 450 riders took the start in the Six Days. Thanks to exceptionally mild and sunny weather conditions for this time of the year, this Portuguese rendez-vous was considered as easy by the participants. The main difficulty was the type of soil, as half of it was sandy. Riding in the sand is atypical and requires some experience. Although the Finns, Italians and Americans are good at this exercise, in the end the versatility of France is what was rewarded in the Trophy contest. Being already title holders, the “Blues” dominated the competition since the first day. Reduced to five riders after Julien Gauthier’s retirement, they maintained a sufficient performance in order to keep their advantage during the final Motocross stage held on the international circuit of Agueda. France will defend its title at the 85th edition of the ISDE which will take place from 1st to 6th November 2010 in Morella, Mexico.



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Fim inside




Those present at the SuperMoto of Nations in Bulgaria had the occasion to watch some very young riders in the support race. Depending on their age, these youngsters can enter a 65cc or 85cc class.

After the summer break, the FreeStyle riders have gone back to FIM World Championship business. Some have used the summer break to heal their wounds; others to prepare new tricks. We could not resist sharing José Miralles beautiful “killer whip heel clicker” with you. For more nice pictures and movies; go to the IFMXF website (the FIM Freestyle Motocross World Championship Promoter):

They look like “shrunk” copies of the riders racing the “Nations”, were all over the Pleven circuit and going fast. One little kid on the starting grid caught our eye (number 97). He was riding a modified and well prepared KTM 85cc with big wheels and needed starting blocks because he could not touch the ground. But do not let this misguide you; he dominated both races. In the second race, he crashed in the third corner and continued last, well behind the others only to win again. With lap times between 1’31 and 1’32 he would have been within the top 12 riders in each class and they were on motorcycles with a minimum capacity of 450cc. He was a little shy but polite. Moreover, his English was not bad at al for 11 years old. When asked, he replied that he has been racing SuperMoto as of the age of 6 and would like to enter the FIM SuperMoto World Championship within some years. If this little kid remains focused and level headed, he could go a long way. His name: Michael Ivanov. We will be looking out for the 2013/2014 season.

by Dirk De Neve

MOBILITY, TRANSPORT, ROAD SAFETY & PUBLIC POLICY NEWS Interview with Nick Shotter – inventor of the 4MC

FIM: How long have you been working on this project? Nick Shotter: Twenty years. It was not inspired by Piaggio; my design predates them by years! FIM: The vehicle is very narrow – is that deliberate? N.S.: Yes, I wanted to design the ultimate safe traffic busting vehicle without compromising on the benefits of a motorcycle. A design envelope that was based on the size (width & length) and weight of the typical middle weight motorcycles commonly used by London motorcycle couriers. At the time many used the Honda CX500 and the Kawasaki GT550. These two bikes were narrow enough to get through traffic efficiently. European legislation for ‘Twinned wheels’ says two wheels on the same axle with the centres of their contact patches with the ground being less than 460mm apart are considered to be one wheel. Therefore, if either the front or rear pair of wheels had a track of 460mm and the other pair had a track of 459mm the vehicle would be a tricycle. As such it could be ridden with a car license and not be restricted to any particular engine size. By altering the track, a simple process, the vehicle could be a bike, tricycle, quadricycle, or car. It made sense to base the design on a 460mm track. There are a lot of new designs out there. Most are too wide to get through traffic. The 4MC is designed for urban areas whilst maintaining the appeal of a motorcycle.

you think the market is now ready for something as radical as 4MC? N.S.: The 4MC’s market has already been proved by the MP3. Piaggio MP3 sales for the first half of this year are up by 142% on the first half of 2008 in a climate where the sales of two wheelers has gone down. The market sector started by the MP3 will be with us for a very long time. The 4MC is also narrower than the MP3. Naturally I think the 4MC is a much better design so it will sell well in this sector. FIM: What is your ideal future? Is it for a major manufacturer to work with you on this design? N.S.: Ideally I would like to be bought out with a one -off payment. – But I am open to discussions on other options. Either way it is time to hand over the baton, preferably to an established vehicle maker who can realise the 4MC’s huge potential. To see the astonishing 4MC in action go to by James Lansdowe

FIM: In the video clips the performance and stability on the MC4 on a skid pan is amazing. In the most slippery conditions it still stays apparently easily under control. Is this just your expertise or do you think the average rider will find it easy to manage? N.S.: Thanks for your kind comments. Actually I have never been a stunt rider and prior to the skid pan video I had only ridden the prototype for about 20 miles. I think the average rider could easily control the 4MC on the skid pan. FIM: For years motorcyclists have demonstrated that whatever they say, when it comes to buying they prefer conventional machines. Our history is full of wonderful designs that never took off. What makes






FIM: There were quite some changes in Motocross and SuperMoto this year. Can you shortlist them and explain why they have been enforced? Giuseppe Luongo: The changes we have made are mainly due to the fact that – compared to MotoGP and Superbike – Motocross and SuperMoto must become more professional. Many teams participating in MX and SM have good intentions but they often lack experience in the fields of marketing and communication. We are obliged to push and guide them in some fundamental things such like attracting new sponsors, the media, etc. We made some important changes like the new double-deck pit lane so that the teams can receive their sponsors on the upper deck. It was necessary to have TV highlights about each team, riders, sponsors, interviews. Manufacturers are reducing their funding. Therefore, the only possibility for the teams is to attract outside sponsorship. You need to offer a high quality product, offer visibility to your sponsor, have a good image; you need to do a lot of things… The fees we ask are related to marketing service that Youthstream provides. The teams now understand because they see important sponsors join the Championship. If we could do all this without a fee, I would be very happy but this is not the case. The decision to bring the maximum age in MX2 to 23 years was already taken in 2007 in Monaco. It will be implemented as of 2010 so that riders, teams and manufacturers could have the time to prepare themselves. Like in all motor sports, we need one Championship that stands out. In Motocross, it is MX1. We almost have duplication with the MX2 class. Both Championships are similarly important. There are 6 to 7 main riders in each class. We need to build a pyramid of success in this sport. MX1 will be on top whereas the MX2 class is a promotional class, a stepping stone to the MX1. Going down the pyramid, you will have the FIM Junior Motocross World Championship and the EMX2. FIM: Despite all Youthstream efforts, SuperMoto is still having a difficult time. What is your opinion on that? G.L.: The SuperMoto situation is quite


complicated because this is a very young Championship. There was a moment when there was a SuperMoto trend in the motorcycle market. The European manufacturers KTM, Husqvarna, etc. followed that trend and the FIM SuperMoto World Championship was created. But the dream was short lived because of a small market and the sales dropped. SuperMoto is a very “different” and young sport. We have tried to run races at circuits like Monza or Sachsenring, in town, on karting circuits. On top of that, we tried every formula possible – paying or free, male spectators paying, children and women for free – but wherever we go, whatever we do, the average number of spectators remains between 2’000 to 4’000. As for the spectators, the ones with a motocross background are used to see riders fly by for 30 metres and find the offroad part too easy. The road racing fans find that the riders are not going fast enough. However, Supermoto is a fantastic sport. We will continue our efforts and respect our contract with the FIM, but we must remain realistic. FIM: How does Youthstream march the thin line between the different interests

of organisers, teams and manufacturers? G.L.: The promoter’s role is difficult and similar to the FIM’s. You must try to manage the general interest and you must try to find the right balance between all parties, who seek to protect their “little garden”. We must always ask ourselves: “What must we do to develop the FIM World Championship?” It has always been our principle not to serve one particular interest. Sometimes, our decisions go against the interest of one or another party, but lately, we have made important progress. FIM: Give us some information on Youthstream’s work in the field of promotion. G.L.: Our first contract with the FIM mentioned some minutes of international television per event. Today, we have reached 2’000 hours of television coverage. Last year, we had more than 2 billions of TV audience. This is the key to organisers, teams and Youthstream to find the funds to continue and to improve the FIM World Championship but TV and media are very expensive. Motocross is not a major sport and the income from television rights is by far inferior to the expenses of TV

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Youthstream is also involved in football. Will it replace Youtstream’s focus on motorsports? G.L.: I do not have really bad souvenirs in Motocross. Well, of course there are the cancellations of the second races in Bellpuig (Spain) last year, and Faenza (Italy) this year due to the bad weather conditions, which obviously you don’t control but this can happen! Many good souvenirs come from the FIM Motocross of Nations. This is the only race where you defend the colors of your country – like in Football World Cup. It is a special event. Everybody is wearing the colors of his country. Many spectators arrive already on the Friday. The attendance for this event is bigger than for any Motocross GP; there is a real good atmosphere. The best important sponsors and in times like souvenir is Budds Creek. In the last Place & date of birth: April 9th 1960 in Italy. this, this is not to be neglected. 20 years there might have been a Residence: Switzerland rivalry between the AMA National Marital status: Married to Ursula Jayne , One son. FIM: The FIM wants to see the Championship and the FIM World David. Motocross Grand Prix taking Championship. Running the Nations Spoken Languages: Italian, English and French. place on every continent. What in the States had some people look are you plans? upon us as if we were the devil! Professional Career G.L.: This is also my vision. A Everything went well and the event World Championship sport has its was the biggest race ever in the US! 1985-1988: G.L.O Owner real value, when it is represented On Sunday, speaking to the 40’000 1989-1992: Action MC Owner, Team Suzuki Bieffe worldwide by events, athletes, spectators present I got a standing Owner (2x World Champion 125) television and when it generates ovation. It was an important and 1995-2000: Action Group International President interest all over the world. We are emotional moment, like magic. 2001: Dorna Off Road Managing Director working hard for that. Next year, As for football, there is no change 2001: Dorna Off Road Vice-President there will be the Brazilian MXGP, of direction. Football started as From 2002: Youthstream President the FIM Motocross of Nations in a passion and we have created a 2008-2009 : CS Chênois President Denver, USA. We are talking with small department to diversify our From 2009 : FC Stade Nyonnais President countries such as India, Indonesia, activities. Of course, when you start South Africa… It is my dream to something new you want to do have a total of 18 races; minimum it correctly and you get involved. 6 of them run outside Europe: USA, Brazil, Because a Championship – in order to be But, I confirm, motorcycle sports remain Asia, South Africa, Australia… We should credible – must be managed by an impartial Youthstream’s core business, i.e. all FIM and go to all continents at top venues with a body for the sporting aspects and that is UEM activities. top infrastructure but to do that, we need exactly what the FIM is. The Promoter – who more sponsors for the teams and ourselves. is a private company – has the experience FIM: So, tell us: what is it that keeps you I believe that when we go to countries with to organise, to find sponsors, to arrange TV going? a strong economy it will be easier for teams coverage. This is the best way. As for the G.L.: Passion and the luck that I am doing to find sponsors. At the Motocross Strategic changes within the FIM, I am convinced something I like. Not everybody has this Committee meeting, I presented a plan to that it was necessary for the FIM to become luck. Moreover, I am doing this with my meet the wish of the FIM President to gather more modern and professional. The creation wife so we share a lot of our time together. the best riders of the “AMA Supercross, of a marketing department, a new website, There is also the motivation to do better an FIM World Championship” and the the new FIM Magazine, is important. The and knowing that there is still a lot to do FIM Motocross World Championship to FIM must communicate by using modern in Motocross. Motocross has not been participate in both Championships. The FIM tools. With all this and the right promotion, developed up to its full potential yet. The Motocross World Championship should the FIM will gain recognition worldwide. I way to the top is still far and it will take start Mid-May – after the end of the “AMA think that if the FIM continues on this path some time to get there. Of course, should Supercross, an FIM World Championship” being the impartial body for the motorcycle we reach that top and my motivation would – and finish by the end of October.. It will sports, representing all federations, it will be go away, I may change my opinion. But as then be possible for riders and teams to a good thing. long as we continue thinking that next year enter both Championships, to attract more will be better than this one, we will go on. sponsors, to increase TV coverage, to FIM: After all these years, what is your develop the sport even more and to bring best souvenir and your worst nightmare? by Isabelle Larivière production. But television attracts sponsors. the best riders from both Championships The development of Internet is very to the fans world wide. We will discuss with important. There are not that many sports all parties involved but it is our intention to transmitting live on the Internet. With start with this project in 2011 and to run at Freecaster this year, we reach an impressive full speed as of 2014. It will not be easy but average of 160’000 spectators per event. I it is a nice challenge. think that somebody who watches a MXGP via Internet is a real fan! Anybody around FIM: You have been a FIM contractual the world can now see Motocross live and partner since 13 years now. How do you for free, without paying any penny. These see the evolution of your relationship developments went hand in hand with the with the FIM and the changing process recent arrival of sponsors such as Red Bull, that it is going through? Monster, Teka, Hyundai, Braun, Casino G.L.: Our relationships have always been very etc...For sponsors, the investment with us well and still are. I have always considered or with a team is still affordable. With the that the entity FIM-Promoter is the secret present crisis, Motocross has some cards of the success of a Championship. Why? to play. And it might come out of the crisis stronger than before. We About Giuseppe Luongo are currently negotiating with some





AN EXCEPTIONAL YEAR OF RACING After the celebration of the GP of Brazil the FIM Motocross World Championship came to an end with two new FIM World Champions, Antonio Cairoli in MX1 and Marvin Musquin in MX2.

MX1: Cairoli rules the world

Looking back in time , the 2009 season has left unforgettable memories for those who followed the great show of Motocross. But undoubtedly, 2009 will always be remembered as a year dominated by injuries for most of the candidates for the title. In fact, not long ago, we asked Roger De Coster his opinion about the FIM Motocross World Championship and he said something that really fits this situation: “Not being injured is also part of being a good rider”, so in that sense we have to congratulate Antonio Cairoli for his great season, his first one in MX1. In February the list of possible contenders for the title was up to twelve riders with names like Philippaerts, Pourcel, Strijbos, Ramon, etc. But step by step, the numerous injuries took many “claimants to the throne” out and consequently diminished the level of a championship which might have been without a doubt one of the most thrilling in the history of the sport.

The first ones to drop from the list were Pourcel and Ramon. The first one due to a shoulder problem, which finally kept him away from the tracks the whole season, and the second one because of a neck injury which sidelined him for seven Grand Prix. On the sports side, the championship did not start in the best way due to the suspension of the second heat in the Italian GP caused by


a downpour in Faenza. The first leader of the championship was Tanel Leok, who was the best one in surviving that muddy hell. The following week the World Championship travelled to Bulgaria for the second round of the season, where Josh Coppins clinched the victory and Ken De Dycker was the provisional leader in the standings. Turkey, hosting the third round, was new on the World Championship scene. Antonio Cairoli got his first victory of the season and became the points leader. He would keep that position for the rest of the championship thus becoming the 2009 World Champion. However, Cairoli’s path to victory was far from easy. Jonathan Barragán, for instance, was the first one to give him a hard time. Both riders were able to keep a very high rhythm until the chequered flag, which in such a tight competition was an advantage to both riders. In fact, after the 4th round, the Silver Action KTM rider was only 15 points behind leader Cairoli. Cairoli then started a revolution in Portugal, winning both heats with great authority, albeit after making a controversial move on fellow Italian David Philippaerts who had to pull out of the race with a broken finger. But it was Barragán who dominated the Catalunya GP, gaining some valuable points on the leader and becoming the first Spanish rider to win a home GP.

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To n i C a i r o l i b l a s t s h i s w a y t o v i c t o r y . ///

After Spain came Great Britain, which was to be another shake up of the championship. Philippaerts won the race showing everybody that he had completely recovered from his injury and this result placed him second in the championship. Nagl was the runner-up, and from that GP onwards, he seemed to have reached his best physical condition that would allow him to start fighting for victories. Cairoli on the other hand suffered a heavy crash in the qualifying heats on Saturday and he was in no condition on Sunday to race for the win. Moreover, Jonathan Barragán, after finishing on place 2 in the first heat, had to pull out of the second race due to mechanical problems with his KTM. In fact, that would be his last race for the championship battle… The Spaniard had an accident while he was training for the French GP which kept him in the sick bay until the penultimate Dutch round. Having said that, Cairoli had to stand up to Philippaerts and Nagl, who both ended up in front of the leader in the French GP thus gaining ground on the points leader and holder of the red plate. The following two races almost decided the outcome of the championship. With two GP victories in a row, the Yamaha De Carli rider made a 57 point gap between him and his closest opponent. In the end, Nagl proved to be the most constant rider grasping points


away each race from Cairoli until Lierop. Arriving in Holland. Cairoli was on top of the standings, 45 points ahead of Nagl. The question was whether the Sicilian who was suffering from a knee injury during training the week before could clinch the title in Holland ? To do so, he would need to score at least 5 more points than his German opponent. Toni answered that question by finishing in front of Max - after the latter crashed in the first race - thus gaining another valuable 3 points. Finally, the KTM rider could not stop the Italian champion from winning the decisive heat. Cairoli’s win handed him the two crucial points he still needed for his first World Title in the MX1 class. Throughout the whole season Cairoli scored impressive results, which made him a true World Champion; the Yamaha de Carli rider won four GPs, nine heats, stood on the podium nine times and led the championship for thirteen out of 16 GPs.

2009 has crowned Antonio Cairoli as the FIM MX1 World Champion but also gives the many motocross fans something to look out for in 2010. With Cairoli and the De Carli team switching to KTM, everybody is wondering whether the Italian “boy wonder” will offer a first MX1 World Title to the Austrian manufacturer. Or is Yamaha going to keep a title that they have conquered six times in the last seven years? Come and see next year’s edition of the Motocross World Championship.




15 Grand Prix, 30 races, 8 different winners. Motocross at its best. ///

MX2: A dominating France takes the throne The FIM Motocross World Championship’s smaller class thriller was divided into two parts; the first one with Paulin Gautier leading and the second with Marvin Musquin on dominating the Championship albeit on two different motorcycles: Honda and then KTM! First of all, we have to congratulate the French Federation for the excellent job they are doing in the MX2 class. French riders were the dominant forces of the world championship obtaining 28 podiums out of 45 and on three occasions in Bulgaria, Great Britain and France, they made a clean sweep of the podium. With such results, it is not at all surprising that a French rider took the crown. Marvin Musquin started off the season battling for the red plate with his countryman Gautier Paulin, who led the points standings until the GP in Bellpuig. As of then, Musquin took command of the championship. It was also his last GP on the NGS Honda.

There was controversy in the Donington Park paddock when the French rider entered the British GP on a KTM. However, his stunning results in orange made people quickly forget about his past with the red riders. Without a doubt, the worst hit by all this was Rui Gonçalves, He had been chasing the title for the past few years and was hoping to be


the first Portuguese Motocross World Champion. With every race that came, he slowly saw the title slip away. But then there was the Musquin “no start” in Sweden and his DNF in the second heat of the Czech GP, and Gonçalves could again dream of the “Grail”. But Musquin stood the pressure and won the FIM MX2 World Championship in style at the last round in Brazil.

Another “hit” in this MX2 season was Ken Roczen’s appearance on the World Champion scene. As he had not yet reached the minimum age of 15, the young German could not take part in the first GPs of the season The Suzuki boy rode his first GP in Portugal, where he raised some eyebrows with a notorious seventh place. And Ken proved a force to be reckoned with as of the next round in Bellpuig, where he was already fighting for the victory in the second heat, finally scoring fourth overall. As of then, it was only a matter of time to see the young German race to his first ever victory in the World Championship. That win came in Teutschenthal, in front of his home crowd. Imagine the joy of the German fans! In the end, he got four podiums and f inished f if th in the championship. Is there any doubt about who will be Musquin’s strongest challenger next year? Ken certainly is an heir to the throne but then again, there could be several. There are many young wolves in this class and they all want to prove something!

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New kid on the block and Rookie of the Year: Ken Roczen, Marvin Musquin, beware! ///

WMX: Steffi Laier, the New Queen of Motocross

The 2009 FIM Women’s Motocross World Championship counted a total of seven Grand Prix, which is two more than the previous season. At the beginning of the season, reigning World Champ Livia Lancelot, was the clear favourite. However, the Germans, Steffi Laier and Larissa Papenmeier did not see things that way. They were out for a kill. The first races of the season were the most exciting ones, as Ashley Fiolek, the current AMA Motocross Champion and last year’s 6th in the world rankings used a break in the US Series to battle it out with her French and German counterparts in Europe during the first two events. After the first four rounds, Lancelot was dominating the field and everybody was ready to say that she would score a consecutive second World Title. Unfortunately for Livia, things turned sour in Germany. The French rider arrived in Teutschenthal not 100% fit because of an accident she suffered while training. It showed already during the practice sessions on Saturday. But things got even worse for the Kawasaki rider when she crashed in the first heat. This was to be the final blow and she had to sit out the rest of the 2009 Championship. Finally, with Lancelot out of action, Steffi Laier had a golden opportunity to win her first FIM World Title, as none of the other riders were fit and strong enough to challenge the superb physical shape of the KTM rider. So, Steffi Laier has now engraved her name on the KTM tabloids. At the same time, she also managed to offer to the Austrian brand its first title in the Women’s World Championship.

Who would have bet on Steffi Laier after two rounds? Not many... but the German girl proved a force to be reckoned with. ///

by Juan Pablo Acevedo/Marionna Leiva




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Team USA fielding Dungey, Weimer and Tedesco, won their 20th FIM Motocross of Nations victory in Franciacorta, the 5th in a row.


It’s a fact that no-one can claim victory until the chequered flag has been waved, and that is what really happened in Italy. If we had made a prediction of which team would have won the 2009 Red Bull FIM Motocross of Nations very few would have bet on team USA leaving Europe in triumph again. It seemed like all the European teams were determined on doing everything possible to make an end of the US domination. After crossing the finish line even Ryan Dungey could not believe what had just happened. He stopped the engine of his bike to celebrate his race victory when a staff member of Youthstream went up to him shouting: “USA is the winner!” Team

USA had just conquered the “Peter Chamberlain” Trophy for the 20th time and Dungey, completely astonished and constantly repeating “Are you sure?”, started running along the track towards his team mates to celebrate a victory that very few of them had dreamt of when they landed in Europe. After the race the US team manager, Roger De Coster, expressed how happy he was after that unexpected victory and that it was probably one of the best Nations he had ever taken part in. “These guys were the guys who wanted to come: we had of course some other riders with injuries. Villopoto would have loved to come and Alessi got hurt… so this is the best team

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Top riders defending their national colours, top sport, a thrilling programme, drama; the FIM Motocross of Nations has everything to seduce a large public devoted to its cause. ///

we had. I am so thankful for these guys, especially for Ryan as it was his first race in Europe and also on a 450 bike. This is one of the best feelings I’ve had, but I also feel for Italy and France; their crashes or that start in the last race helped us.” HOW IT ALL HAPPENED The 63rd edition of the Motocross of Nations started with a record number of 37 countries from all over the world taking par t in the event, and countries like Mongolia or Thailand joined for the first time the legends of the sport, like the USA, Belgium, France or Italy. An impressive number of ninety thousand people were gathered together in Franciacorta to enjoy


the best Motocross event of the season. Many of them were obviously locals who were specially attracted by the realistic chance Italy had this year to get the trophy back from their 2002 win. They also had great faith in the newly crowned MX1 World Champion, Antonio Cairoli. However, this year there was not a clear favourite to conquer the Nations, as team USA, winner in the last four years, could not count on any of their stars, like Ryan Villopoto or James Stewart, due to injuries or other reasons. After the qualifying races on Saturday, it was clear that the fight for the victory would be among the three European

countries that dominated the day. Antonio Cairoli won the MX1 class, Marvin Musquin the MX2 and the Open class was for David Philippaerts. These results dictated the starting positions for the next day: Italy got the pole position, followed by France and Belgium, while the Americans could only manage six th. W ith such an Italian performance, the thousands of “tifosi” assembled around the track were betting on the possibility that Cairoli and company could achieve the final victory. Sunday started with a shining sun, perfect to witness undoubtedly one of the most thrilling FIM Motocross of Nations of the last years.



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The winners take it all. Dungey, Weimer and Tedesco holding the "Peter Chamberlain Trophy". ///

The first race was a royal battle between the MX1 and MX2 riders. Not only did we enjoy the amazing fight between the current FIM World Champion, Antonio Cairoli, and the AMA title holder, Australian Chad Reed, but we could also see what Musquin is able to do on his 250cc machine against the 450cc. Finally, Cairoli clinched the race win, after withstanding the pressure of the Aussie throughout the whole race. Adding the 16th position of his team mate, Davide Guarneri, Italy was second in the intermediate standings with 17 points, behind team USA with 11 points thanks to the 3rd place of Dungey and the 8th place of Weimer, and ahead of Great Britain with 18 points. France was the dominant force in the following race where the MX2 riders fought it out with their Open class counterparts. The Gallic team - with an incredible Gautier Paulin, who led the heat from start to finish and seemed to be 100% adapted to the 450cc - was placed provisionally at the first position with 25 points thanks also to the 5th place achieved by Musquin. Second was Belgium with 37 points and third the USA with 39. With these provisional standings, everybody prepared for the final shootout where France started as the favourite team, closely watching Belgium, who was fielding its best riders, Clément Desalle and Steve Ramon. On the other hand, Italy had not given up yet and was counting on the last two MX1 World Champions, Antonio Cairoli and David Philippaerts. Despite their 59 points, there was still the possibility of eliminating the worst of the six possible results. So they still stood a chance of taking victory.


However, any hope of winning that these countries may have had were dashed soon after the gate dropped. Even before reaching the first turn, Antonio Cairoli was involved in a pile-up that he commented on after the race “It was a pretty big crash but now I feel a bit better. I was full gas along the straight and I think it was Paulin who closed my line a bit from the inside and then someone else squashed me from the outside. Once we touched then we went flying”. And there was more drama coming up! Billy Mackenzie went down and took Clement Desalle with him, so within 10 seconds, two of the contenders for the final victory, Italy and Belgium, were out! So was France then walking the path of victory? Well, not for long since another pile-up after the second turn sidelined Gautier Paulin after being hit on the chest by another rider. Paulin ended up being evacuated to the hospital. With this, France was also out of the fight for victory and the “Peter Chamberlain Trophy” was served to the US team on a plate. Without making much noise the American team saw how a chain of errors or mishaps took the European armies out of combat. With this and their own collective and solid team performance, they were once again declared winner of the prestigious FIM Motocross of Nations. France and Belgium took home the Trophy of Nations and the Coupe of Nations which are awarded respectively to second and third. Italy was sixth… by Juan Pablo Acevedo/Marionna Leiva

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Design KYRRIEL - Photos : Bud Racing,, ABC Communication,

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2009 FIM Motocross World Championship MX 1, MX 2 and Women’s MX

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Taking advantage of the participation of team USA in the FIM Motocross of Nations, we had the opportunity to talk with the team manager who achieved the most number of victories in this event.

FIM: How do you remember your first participation in the Motocross of Nations as a rider?

Motocross of Nations 6 times as a rider in the open class for Belgium and then fighting against that team with USA?

Roger De Coster: The first time it was in Belgium, a long time ago. It was a very muddy day and actually my bike broke that day, so it was not very good. But the first Motocross of Nations I won, it was in Farley Castle, in England, in 1969.

R.D.C.: It felt a little bit funny the first time, but I offered to work for the Belgium federation and they said “no thank you, we don’t need your help”. I’m proud of Belgium, my country, but the most important for me is to win with the best team and rider.

FIM: How did you feel after that first ever victory as a rider?

FIM: So you’ve never thought of becoming the Belgium team manager?

R.D.C.: It was fun, because to me, when I was a kid, the Motocross of Nations was a big event, I read the magazines and it was my dream! And then it happened and I was very lucky because I could win it many times. When I stopped racing, I was the first team manager that won with the US team. We won 13 years in a row and then I think it was in 1994 that I chose to go there as a spectator and then the US team lost. After that they won a couple of times while I was not there with them: the one in Brazil and the one in Austria, all the other 16 wins I was managing the team.

R.D.C.: I thought about it when I first stopped racing because I probably got the most experience in the format of the Motocross of Nations than anybody else. Until the mid 80’s there was a MXON in the 500cc and the Trophée des Nations in the 250cc class. I had also won the Trophée des Nations 10 times in a row as a rider for the Belgian team. So for me it was an important event and I thought it would be fun to work with Belgium and with young riders, but they had other people doing that so …

FIM: Was it a personal decision to manage the US team for that period of time? R.D.C.: Yes, for example, with the race in Austria. At first the riders and the team didn’t want to go, then they said “yes”, then “no” … and I said to them that if they could not make up their mind, then I had other things to do! FIM: How did you feel after winning the


FIM: They are maybe regretting it now … R.D.C.: Maybe, but I’m a good friend with them, so it’s not really a problem. FIM: Throughout your career as the US team manager, which riders stand out the most? R.D.C.: I was lucky that I could work with many good riders. At the beginning I worked with O’Mara, Bailey, then Jeff Ward, who was really good on the Nations and he was

a really good rider to work with. Bob Hannah, the latest Staton, Regine … Later on with Ricky Carmichael, Stewart, … FIM: Is Carmichael still involved with the team? R.D.C.: He’s not involved with the American team anymore, but he still does some work for me, some testing for motocross, when I get new things it’s always good to have a guy with good experience to do some testing initially. FIM: Which features stand out about Ricky Carmichael? R.D.C.: The biggest thing about him is that he could win any time and he was always able to push more and more; coming from behind, the commitment. What was fun with him is that you went to a race and you always knew you had more than 50% of winning, anytime, anyplace. FIM: What do you think he has represented for the sport? R.D.C.: Hard work, dedication, I think Ricky Carmichael was not the most talented rider naturally, but he proved that with hard work you can achieve whatever you want. FIM: What’s your relationship with Stephan Everts? R.D.C.: I do not have much relationship with him. I saw him as a little kid riding on a BMX bike, at the end when I was finishing racing

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Roger De Coster is the Team Manager who achieved the most number of victories in the FIM Motocross of Nations .///

funded by Japan because it’s not only one country. Whereas in the US it’s only one country but a big one, so the racing there is funded by the importers and distributors, it’s not Japan that sponsors the American team. The sales of American Suzuki, of American Honda, Yamaha … that fund the racing over there. So for those companies it doesn’t make any sense to spend their money on racing in Belgium, or in Spain for instance. I raced with his dad, actually we won a Trophée des Nations together (250 class). Stefan was a very talented rider. I wished he had come to the US to race for some time. Actually I offered him a job to come and race for the Suzuki Team in the US, but he decided to stay in Europe.

motorsport that you could come without having a rich family and that side needs to be worked on. In the States it doesn’t matter the money you have, I think that if you have the desire and you have the ability there’s help and possibilities for young kids to come in.

FIM: What’s your opinion about the Motocross World Championship?

FIM: Do you think there is a chance to combine both AMA and the MX World Championships to have more opportunities to see all these riders racing together?

R.D.C.: I think there’s something very good like the presentation and the press side, I think they’ve done a great job and they’ve progressed a lot, but I think they have started to make it too difficult for young riders to come in. I think it’s becoming too expensive. Motocross it was always the


R.D.C.: I would like to see more races together, but the way things are today it’s going to be very difficult because in the World Championship the main teams are

FIM: What are your expectations for this MXON with such a new team? R.D.C.: This year we have a young team: Ivan with two victories and we have two young guys in, Jake and Ryan, and it’s their first time racing outside the American continent. We want to take this race as a normal and just be consistent. I think this is the strong point of the American team that they work together. It is important to have one guy in the team that has done it before. It isn’t important if you ride the MX1 or the Open class, with today’s scoring it doesn’t make that much difference. by Juan Pablo Acevedo/Marionna Leiva


/ / / Fim inside

WOMEN IN MOTORCYCLING Riding to New Heights!

Elite sports well represented!

The 5th AMA International Women and Motorcycling Conference, bringing together around 1’000 women riders mostly from the United States but also from Canada, Japan and some outsiders from Europe and Australia, took place in Keystone Colorado, USA last August. The Keystone Resort & Conference Center and the breathtaking Rocky Mountains (3’000m/10’000f t altitude!) provided an amazing backdrop to an incredible four days of riding, seminars, inspiring speeches, training sessions and more. In the conference sessions, various motorcycling technical aspects were discussed, such as how to prepare for long rides, real-world street strategies, making your bike fit you, taking your riding skills to the next level or inspirational topics, for instance, gaining confidence in taking to the open road “solo”. Within the “Coach2Ride” sessions, participants could try and test various motorcycles on the “Tenderfoot” Parking lot (*).

Other speakers included Leslie Porterfield, the first woman to make it into the Bonneville 200 mph club (Speed World Record) and a fantastic lady already known to the FIM Community as she was on the cover page of the first new FIM Magazine Ride with us! Par ticipants were amazed to “see/hear” Ashley Fiolek, US MX Champion, (and her mother translating her sign language) explaining that the biggest obstacle for her in becoming a professional motorcycle racer, riding for Honda, was not that she is deaf, although she is! No, Ashley told the audience, the biggest obstacle she faced was that she was a female in a male-dominated sport. For the boys riding in motocross there was a clear career path. Nothing of the sort existed for women. So Ashley decided to create it. She announced in 2007 that she had run her last amateur race and in 2008 entered races as a pro. She ended the year as the women’s champion in the US. Brigitte Zufferey . ///

Networking, communication and friendship!

International Street Party As keynote speaker of the evening sponsored by MCC (Motorcyclists Confederation of Canada), the Canadian Deborah Grey, fascinated the audience with her amazing and energetic speech. She is known as “the funniest Canadian political gladiator in recent memory”, who made Canadian history by becoming the first Reform Party Member in the Canadian Parliament. Debbie is definitely a role model for women, not only in politics or in motorcycling, but in life in general. Read her book!(**) As a representative of the FIM’s Commission for Women in Motorcycling, I was given the opportunity to outline the actions taken since the Commission’s creation in 20 06. This information at international level was extremely well received by the public.

It was definitely a great networking opportunity to maintain contacts made at the previous conference in 2006 in Athens, Georgia and to add many new names and faces to the Commission for Women in Motorcycling address book such as journalists, and to get a better understanding of what is going on on the other side of the Atlantic as far as women in motorcycling is concerned. (*) More information, programme, articles and pictures of the conference on: (**) “Never retreat, never explain, never apologize, my life, my politics” by Deborah Grey Deborah Grey & Holly Ralph. ///

Leslie Porterfield. /// 28

by Brigitte Zufferey

Ashley Fiolet & her mother. /// FIM M AGA ZINE . 6 9 / / / S E PT E M BER O C TO B ER 2 0 0 9

Fim inside







Repsol Montesa HRC team-mates Toni Bou and Laia Sanz have once again dominated their respective Trial World championships, and with Montesa also having clinched the manufacturers’ title it has been a clean sweep for the Honda backed squad.

Once again both riders have used their factory four-stroke Cota 4R machines to destroy the opposition in convincing fashion. 2009 saw Bou win both the SPEA FIM Indoor Trial World Championship and the SPEA FIM Trial World Championship, before playing his part in helping Spain to victory in the FIM Trial des Nations team event. These latest two individual titles take Toni’s tally to six FIM Trial World Championships in the last three seasons, and since he joined the mighty Repsol ranks back in 2007. Female rider Sanz has a similar tale to tell, with the twenty-three year old having won both at World and European levels this season after remaining unbeaten in both campaigns. Laia has now recorded an incredible and record-breaking nine FIM Women’s Trial World Championships in the ten-year history of the series. Since being defeated back in 2007, Sanz has been back at her best and has re-established her clear advantage over even her closest rivals. Bou and Sanz can now both retreat into their well-earned winter breaks, with their title trophies safely in their care and knowing that they will start 2010 as riders to beat when the new championships kick off. So with the curtains having been dropped on this year’s campaigns, we took the opportunity to catch up with these two undisputed World champions and asked them a range of questions about their chosen sport. FIM: 2009 has once again been a winning year for you, but did everything go according to plan? Toni Bou: At the moment it has been a very good year because I have achieved all my objectives. The only thing missing now is to win the Spanish Trial championship, and then it will be the prefect season. Laia Sanz: Yes 2009 has been very positive for me, especially as I did not expect to win so easily when I knew the level of my rivals. Whilst the World Championship went better than I hoped, it was still painful to lose the FIM Women’s Trial des Nations by such a narrow margin.


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FIM: You already had many FIM Trial World titles before the start of this season, so what made it so important to win again? T.B.: Each year my motivation is the same, I just want to win and be as strong as possible when the fight begins. In that way this year has been no different, and in 2010 I will begin with the same goals. L.S.: Winning the FIM Women’s Trial World Championship remains my biggest objective and after having lost in 2007, I want this more than ever. At the start of the season, that was my goal and each year it will be the same, as I want to win as many titles as I can. FIM: What do you believe was the key moment in the season? T.B.: After a nervous start, I recovered well to win in Portugal, but for me the most important moments in the year were the double victories I took both in Great Britain and Japan. After those GP’s I knew I was in control of the championship, although I knew the battle was not over yet. L.S.: The FIM Women’s Trial World Championship is just three rounds, so it is clear with such a short series there is no time for mistakes. So for me the most important point was winning the first round in Andorra, as I knew I wanted to take charge of the championship, so I could win it in France. FIM: Were you completely happy with your bike, or would you now prefer to return to a two-stroke engine like some of the other riders are using? T.B.: As a professional rider whilst your main job is to win races, the other job you have with the rest of your team is to always make your bike better, as that way you can stay ahead of your rivals. Each time we are looking to improve in this way, but overall I have been very happy with the Cota 4RT this year. L.S.: Of course I am very happy to ride with the Repsol Montesa HRC bike, as I believe it is the best. I am one of the riders who has been competing with the four-stroke for a long time now, so I feel I have adapted my style to suit it best. Overall the four-stroke has more positive points than the two-stroke, from my point of view, the only negative about the four-stroke is perhaps the weight. FIM: How do you think the FIM Trial World Championship can be improved? T.B.: In general I think the rules we have are correct for our sport at the moment. I think the biggest way we can improve the championship is to make Trial more accessible to the public so that we can have larger crowds and maybe more riders in the GPs. L.S.: We need to find a way to get more riders to take part in the championship, as this will help the sport grow. Also we need to find places that are easy for the public to access, and make sure that we do everything in the most professional way possible.





FIM: Do you think we will ever see electric bikes in the FIM Trial World Championship? T.B.: I am not sure that electric bikes will be best suited to Trial, but I am sure we will see bikes using different types of fuels, that will be better for the environment. L.S.: I don’t know for sure, but I suppose when you look a long way into the future they could be a real possibility. FIM: How do you think we can help the sport of Trial grow? T.B.: The big problem with our sport, is finding places to practice and to hold events. If we are to see our sport grow we need to invest in some permanent and special areas where people can train and compete. Both road racing and motocross have permanent tracks, and Trial now needs the same. L.S.: I think it is a difficult time for all sports, but if we want Trial to grow we need more and more TV exposure. If we can get more trials on TV, then I think we can increase the profile of the riders, the teams and the sport in general. Another point is the environmental issue, as in some countries they have very few areas to train; we need to make this situation better with some purpose-made Trial parks. FIM: Do you think you will test another sport in the future? T.B.: I have no direct thoughts about changing sports at this moment, but always I would like to test some things like motocross and maybe even MotoGP as they are sure to give me a new sensation and challenge. L.S.: I love all types of motorsport and would like the chance to test some different ones when I have time, but one dream I have had since I was a child was to compete in the Dakar Rally on a motorcycle. Maybe one day. FIM: How will you spend the winter? T.B.: After a little time to relax, my winter is for training and doing other physical sports such as mountain biking and skiing to make sure my fitness level is correct for next season. L.S.: I will use the winter to train very hard, so my physical condition is ready for the 2010 season. As there are no competitions during this period I would like to test other sports like mountain biking, trekking and skiing as well as training in the gym. FIM: What are your goals and motivations for 2010? T.B.: My goals and motivation are the same and are very simple, I want to win the SPEA FIM Indoor Trial World Championship and the SPEA FIM Trial World Championship again. L.S.: Right now I am not sure what the rules will be for 2010, so maybe we will have some new challenges and new reasons for motivation. My objectives are the same as this season. I want to win the FIM Women’s Trial World Championship, the Ladies’ European series too and to finish on the podium in the Spanish men’s Championship, as well as doing well in the FIM Junior Trial World Cup. by Jake Miller 32

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r id e

r id e


SPAIN’S SUPER SIx 2009 FIM TRIAL DES NATIONS Bringing the 2009 Trial season to a close, the FIM Trial des

The mighty Spanish quartet of Toni Bou – Repsol Montesa

Nations once again provided a fitting and colourful finale, with twenty countries contesting this well established team competition. For the fifth time in its twenty-six year history, the FIM Trial des Nations was hosted with great passion on Italian soil. The small spa town of Darfo Boario Terme, located approximately one hundred kilometres north east of the city of Milan welcomed female and male competitors from around the World to do battle for these prestigious team awards.

HRC, Adam Raga – Gas Gas, Jeroni Fajardo – Beta and Albert Cabestany – Sherco were looking for their sixth straight win in this competition, and this was never really in doubt. Although Great Britain captained by veteran campaigner Dougie Lampkin – Beta provided some early resistance, their chances of recapturing the crown they last won back in 2003 soon faded especially when the heavy rain arrived mid way through the Trial. Despite the worsening conditions Spain still ran out easy winners, some sixty-five marks ahead of Dougie and crew, who in turn finished well in front of a jubilant Italian team, who made the most of their home advantage.

With four different winners in the last five editions, the FIM Women’s Trial des Nations always promised to be a thrilling encounter, and this year’s competition did not disappoint. Preevent favourites Great Britain may have once again looked strong on paper, but were only too aware of having been demoted to third place last year after having been tipped for the top spot twelve months earlier. FIM Women’s Trial World Champion Laia Sanz was looking to lead Spain to its second successive victory in this class, in order to add to her ninth individual World title captured the day prior to the ladies team competition. After two tense laps of the fourteen sections situated in the wooded areas around the historic town, Great Britain emerged as narrow winners, with the trio of Rebekah Cook – Sherco, Joanne Coles – Gas Gas and Emma Bristow – Gas Gas recording a single mark victory over Sanz and co. Germany, led by the 2007 FIM Women’s Trial World Champion Iris Kramer – Gas Gas completed the rostrum, with the former World title holder announcing her retirement from the spor t immediately af ter the podium ceremony.

France and the USA rounded out the top group respectively, leaving the other nations to fight it out for the International Trophy. Last year’s victors in this class, the Czech Republic appeared on course to make it two in row, as they converted a determined opening lap performance into an eight mark lead over their German rivals come the half way point. However the German line up of Jan Junklewitz - Sherco, Timon Oster - Montesa, Jochen Schafer and Carsten Stranghoner – Montesa had other ideas, as they fought back brilliantly to snatch a dramatic win by virtue of a most cleans tie break over a disbelieving Czech Republic team. This was Germany’s first win in this category since 2001, as Norway completed the podium on this occasion, which brought this wonderful competition to a memorable close. by Jake Miller

Results: 2009 FIM Women’s Trial des Nations 1 Great Britain; 2 Spain; 3 Germany; 4 France; 5 Norway; 6 Italy; 7 Australia; 8 USA; 9 Portugal


2009 FIM Men’s Trial des Nations World Championship Group 1 Spain; 2 Great Britain; 3 Italy; 4 France; 5 USA.

2009 FIM Men’s Trial des Nations International Trophy Group 1 Germany; 2 Czech Republic; 3 Norway; 4 Finland; 5 Sweden; 6 Australia; 7 Ireland; 8 Belgium; 9 Switzerland; 10 Poland; 11 Portugal; 12 Austria; 13 Canada; 14 Luxembourg; 15 Latvia.


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© François Gragnon/Paris Match/Scoop 1964

Steve McQueen riding the Triumph TR6 750 during the ISDT in Erfurt, 1964. ///



HOLLYWOOD HERO, MOTORCYCLE FAN Steve McQueen is world-famous as a top movie actor of the 60s and 70s. He started as a mechanic in the US army and he kept the taste for speed all his life. His reputation began to grow with the TV series “Wanted: Dead or Alive” which started in 1960. After major roles in some well-known movies he was then offered a top role in John Sturgess’ “The Great Escape” in 1963. A longtime fan of motorcycle and car racing, Steve himself suggested the motorcycle jump over the border fence at the end of the story. Steve McQueen had brought along his friend Bud Ekins, a keen motorcyclist, who was hired as stuntman. Steve rode in almost all the riding scenes except the famous jump at the end. During the making of the movie, Bud Ekins went to Czechoslovakia to take part in the Six Days in Spindleruv Min, where he clinched a gold medal. Back with Steve he spoke about it and the idea came up to prepare a US team in order to participate in this event the year after. The following riders were entered for the I S DT i n E r f u r t , E a s t Germany, from 7 to 12 September 1964: Steve McQueen ( Triumph TR6 750), Clif f Coleman (Triumph TR6 750), Bud Ekins and his brother Dave (both on Triumph TR5 500), all four forming a Vase team; J.A Taylor (175cc Bultaco), W. Stewart (175cc CZ), P. Hunt (250cc CZ), St. Peters (250cc Jawa), J. Smith (250cc CZ) and J.F. Steen (Triumph TR5 500cc) who was the reserve rider for the Vase team.

McQueen had a first crash, resulting in a mechanical problem which he was able to fix rapidly. Riding fast when trying to avoid losing too much time, he suddenly had to avoid another rider and he flew off the track, crashing heavily. He was not seriously injured but his Triumph was too much damaged, and he had to retire. As the team’s contest for the Vase was now beyond reach, Bud refrained from starting the next morning – his left ankle was broken. Cliff Coleman and Dave Ekins continued to ride for an individual Gold Medal, which they both clinched.

The problem was that most of them were much more used to desert racing than the heavy and muddy soil of central Europe. However, on the first day of competition in Erfurt, and despite the rain, the US riders finished within the time schedule and the team was leading the classification. On day two, with the same conditions, everything also went well and the team stayed ahead for the Vase contest. On day three, the sun was shining and the riding conditions were good. But suddenly things went wrong: Bud Ekins hit a little wall with his left leg, but finished in time. Steve

Steve McQueen’s passion also included four wheels. In 1968, he acted in Peter Yates’ “Bullitt”. This cult movie shows one of the most spectacular car pursuits of all times, the best one by far at that time. Two years later a movie about car racing was launched: Lee Katzin’s “Le Mans” was a project in which Steve was very much involved. The result is considered by many people as the best ever made movie about car racing. Steve McQueen passed away in 1980 but for many people, in particular for motorcycle and car racing fans, he will always be remembered.


Despite the feeling of disappointment, the experience was considered by all the members of the team as unforgettable – also by some riders from other countries who were taking part in this event and who remember the presence of the American team. Due to movie commitments, Steve McQueen could not take part in the 1965 ISDT on the Isle of Man - the other American riders did, but due to rain and fog the event was a disaster for many participants. Steve’s TR6 Triumph was used by Ed Kretz on the Isle of Man and then in 1966 by Bud Ekins in a desert race from Tijuana to La Paz, Mexico, which would eventually become the famous Baja 1000 Desert race. Steve McQueen took part in other motorcycle competitions in California at the end of the 60s; some of these competitions can be seen in Bruce Brown’s movie “On Any Sunday”.


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Official '64 Silver Vase Team from left to right: Dave Ekins, John Steen, Steve McQueen, Cliff Coleman, Bud Ekins. ///

DAVE EKINS 1964 ISDT in Erfurt. Dave Ekins, member of the US team, recalls:

“The ISDT is truly an international event for those countries manufacturing suitable motorcycles. The vast majority of nations do not have such a thing and can only enter Silver Teams or Club Teams. It seems


strange because the very first ISDT held on the Isle of Man in 1913 had a single American entry who participated riding a 4-hp Indian motorcycle. This was probably the only time a U.S. manufactured motorbike did compete. The rider’s name was Ted Hastings. There were one or two other adventurous sportsmen from the U.S. who tackled the Six Day’s over the years but the idea didn’t catch on until the U.S. entered two Silver Vase teams for the 1964 event held in Erfurt, East Germany. This was during the height of the cold war and East Germany was a wholly communist controlled country. And, as Americans representing capitalists from the west, we were well scrutinized by our hosts. We could feel it in the air. On top of the political worry were the ‘out of the shipping crate’ Triumphs we were to race, far below the standards of the machines we had to compete with. My TR5 was at least 100 lbs heavier than S.H. Miller’s 500cc Ariel. And while riding

on the same minute the performance differences were amazing. Still, Sammy led me to a Gold Medal and fifth in class. Not bad for a ‘first time’ competition. S.H. Miller finished 2nd in the class and was part of the British Trophy Team. He finished behind the German ‘spoiler’ F. Williamowski and his ‘fantastic’ 352cc MZ. During the final special test road race I led the first lap then beginning the second Cliff Coleman motored by me on his 650cc Triumph as Williamowski sailed past Coleman then disappeared riding a 350cc two-stroke that sounded a lot different from the machine he had ridden the previous five days. This is when I realized the ‘Same for everybody” rule was for the visiting riders only. The home teams could stack the deck heavily in their favor. I later found certain non-competitors would stand in front of ‘Turn’ sign posts in order for a competitor to miss the arrows and lose his way. Then find his way back well off pace and never able to make up for time lost. There are

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many ways to ‘bend’ the rules: it is almost like a game. And for a visitor like me it was disheartening to watch all this happen. The most memorable saga I witnessed in Erfurt happened the evening before Day One. Nearly 300 contestants were seated in a giant dining hall looking down at the plate of food just served: whole eel with cold-cuts. Now, I don’t eat something that is still looking at me. There were about ten Americans assigned to this table; Steve McQueen asked our waiter where the Jury members ate. The American team, British team and Swedish team left the dining hall and proceeded to the Erfurt Hof for a more palatable dinner. The East German sponsors changed the menu for the remainder of the Trials.


I hurt my knee. Steve brought a chiropractor who put my knee together. I also took part in the following year’s competition at the Isle of Man. I broke down on the fifth day, the ignition was out and we could not fix it; it had been raining the whole week. In East Germany the local team had complete motorcycles hidden along the course and also spare parts all over the place… Especially at that time the Six Days were a kind of “Who could cheat the best”.


Five times FIM 500cc Motocross World Champion, the Belgian rider took part in the ISDT in 1964 in Erfurt. There he met the American riders for the first time:

A Spanish rider and future FIM delegate, in Erfurt Mr Oriol Puig Bulto, President of the FIM International Technical Panel, was an experienced off-road rider during the sixties. He took part in many International Six Days’ Trial events: in 1958 and then between 1962 and 1970. He was in Erfurt in 1964. He recalls:

“These were my first Six Days, I was riding a 350cc Jawa. We went there with Fernand Dhéry, and old Motocross guy from Liège, Joel (Robert) also, and a couple of other guys. We arrived at the East German border – you know, at that time it took half a day to cross the border – and in front of us, there was an English van. It was the Triumph factory van, carrying the motorcycles of the American team. That year the American team was: Steve McQueen, Bud Ekins, Dave Ekins, Cliff Coleman and John Steen. We were in the line waiting, and we got out of the car, and walked around a bit. Just behind us there was a big Jaguar, with Bud and Dave Ekins, and Steve McQueen. This was the first time I met these guys. At the Six Days, we were also frequently together because we slept in a school dorm in Erfurt. The school was closed for a week. Everybody was eating in the school cafeteria; the table setup was made by country and we happened to be seated next to the USA team, and that’s where our friendship started. During the race, Steve McQueen crashed on the third day, if I remember well. That was the end of it for him. Joel also crashed and broke, but others got Gold medal, Dave Ekins got Gold, I got Gold… Of course everybody stayed until the end, and we had good moments together…They gave me their phone numbers and said whenever I would come to the USA: “Call us up.”. A couple of years later I went to the US for the first time. In California I was driving on a freeway, took an exit and went to a telephone booth, around nine o’clock at night. I called the number: it was Bud Ekins’ home and I was not even half a kilometer away from his house! I ended up staying there – actually each time I went there for the TransAm races on the West coast I always stayed with Bud Ekins. Bud was Steve’s best friend, and Steve was always at Bud’s house chatting and drinking beer. Once I was racing in the US and

“In Erfurt 1964, I remember well the American team with Steve McQueen, the Ekins brothers and other riders. They had a lot of helpers, press people, cameramen, etc., and many American flags everywhere. They were doing spectacular rides the days prior to the start, going up and down and doing fast side slides with their big Triumph twins. A real show... I met briefly Steve McQueen and Bud Ekins. They were nice people, very accessible and ready to share experiences and fully enjoy the event. In my opinion, all members of the US Team were good riders, very much used to riding in the desert and in dry terrain but not so much in the muddy sections through the woods and hills of central Europe. Also, they were riding too ‘crazy’ for a six days event, crashing too much. I remember seeing Steve and some other members of the US team riding with torn mudguards and bent handlebars, and also with bruises on their faces. The best known members of the team, Steve McQueen and Bud Ekins had to retire on the third and fourth days after several heavy crashes. But other members got gold and silver medals. I never met Steve McQueen again but I had the pleasure of meeting Bud Ekins in May 2007 at the ‘Legend of the Motorcycle, Concours d’Elegance’ in Half Moon Bay, California, where I was acting as a Judge and Bud was the Honorary Judge. Bud had a serious health condition but we had the opportunity to remember together ‘those old glorious times’, a few months before he passed away in October of that year”.




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© François Gragnon/Paris Match/Scoop 1964 From left to right: J.Ray Sayer (GBR), Dave Nicoll (GBR), Steve McQueen (USA), Bud Ekins (USA) behind Steve, Cliff Coleman (USA), Roy Peplow (GBR) and John Giles (GBR). ///

DAVE NICOLL Former 500cc Motocross rider, and well-known today as FIM Motocross Grand Prix Race Director, Dave Nicoll was a 20 year old Motocross rider in 1964 when he went to Erfurt as member of the British Vase team.

“In 1964, I was just 20. I did a test session with the British team and I was selected for the Vase team for UK. I went to the event by myself, with a pick-up truck. The Sunday before the Six Days started I did an International Motocross event in West Germany. It was a “start money” job, so I had some money on the way to the Six Days as this event was purely expenses, without any prize money. I must say that Erfurt was easy for me - a year later at the Isle of Man it was a nightmare - honestly Erfurt was fine for a Motocross rider. I was actually starting three or four numbers behind Steve McQueen, and I caught him up every day and passed him. There was a guy called Johnny Giles in the British Trophy team and I used to follow him. Honestly, I was just riding around. At night we were putting the bikes into the parc fermé and did some work, adjusting the chain, changing the tyres. It was like this every day, and I finished third in the 500cc class. I then did the Isle of Man in the Vase Team again, and from day 40

one I was in trouble, I got lost, a cable broke, I had a puncture... Finally on Thursday the engine packed up and it was over. I was quite happy with it. But Erfurt was fine. Actually when I got there, there was this usual procedure, paperwork for entries, and there was a huge crowd around this American, and I had never heard of him. I asked somebody who he was, he said Steve McQueen, and I said: “Who is he ?” He said: “A film star”, and I did not know him. As always, English speaking people get together, and the English team and the American team were very close, and he was just one of us. Bud Ekins was the head of the team, he was the one everybody knew and Steve was with him. All the week we were together, like on this picture published by Paris-Match. We would sit down together, have a beer and a cigarette and discussing what had happened during the day, the usual things…I remember once I had no cigarette left so he went up and brought me a pack of cigarettes!... Steve was a typical American “flat-out” style I would say. They had colourful gear in those days, compared with us. He was a good rider, by no means a winner but he could ride a motorbike. During the Six Days he could do our speed going through the forest, but he couldn’t do our speed in special tests because he was no top in Motocross, but he was a “real” off-road rider. He was also good mechanic; in those days everybody had to work on the bikes. He was one of us; he mixed in; he was doing everything we did, except to go that little bit faster, you know. In 1970 I think, when I was in the US I went to a barbecue at Bud Ekins’ place and he was there so we had a chat about Erfurt. It was the last time we met.” by Marc Pétrier Special thanks to Dave Ekins, Roger de Coster, Dave Nicoll and Oriol Puig Bulto for their contribution. Sources: 40 Summers ago – Hollywood behind the Iron Curtain (Rin Tanaka, Sean Kelly); Unforgettable Steve McQueen (Tag Heuer); Paris-Match (edition of September 19, 1964). FIM M AGA ZINE . 6 9 / / / S E PT E M BER O C TO B ER 2 0 0 9

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ÖHLINS: ON THE BRINK OF THE ELECTRONIC REVOLUTION The suspension giant is a one-man firm again, when founder Kenth Öhlin bought it back from Yamaha. MICHAEL SCOTT visited the Swedish factory for the story behind the all-gold forks and dampers.

The Swedish suspension company Öhlins is at an interesting point in an interesting history. Founded in specialist motocross (first World Championship participation in 1979 with Swedish rider, Hakan Carlqvist), Öhlins in 2009 achieved domination of the MotoGP grid, with Honda finally switching to the gold front forks and ditto rear suspension units. This happened barely a year after another signal event when founder Kenth Öhlin bought back all but five percent of his company from Yamaha in December 2007. The Japanese company had bought 50 percent in 1987. Now in his sixties, Kenth Öhlin decided it was time to go independent again. “I had the choice – to take a pension, or to do something else. And I would like to continue working as long as I am healthy. I had been with Yamaha for many years, good years. But for me it was time to buy it back and go 100 percent in our own direction.” The price paid remains private … “A lot of money, but a decent price. I was lucky to buy it at the right time. Now we can concentrate on the core business, and keep the profit in Sweden.”

work with adaptive electronically controlled suspension in the car world. Computer-controlled suspension adjustment is standard equipment on a vast range of high-end cars, Öhlins supplies classleading manufacturers, with a portfolio including Mercedes, VW, Audi, Volvo and Ford. Öhlin proudly tells me that “I have no formal engineering background – but I was born in the workshop”. He started out tuning two-stroke engines and making exhausts, for himself and for his competitors in national-level motocross. He is still a fan of the simple low-cost engines, especially for off-road competition. “It is too expensive for a normal person to race a four-stroke. Two-strokes are simple, and cleaner nowadays, so I am rather sure that they are coming back. Not for road-racing … no-one will allow that. But off road.”

Suspension work was at first incidental to a general motorcycle business, but his reputation grew when Husqvarna specified Öhlins shocks as standard equipment. He de scr ibe s the Öhlins a d v a n t a g e a s “ q u a l i t y, development and knowledge of materials”, as well as the flexible size of the company – in excess of 200 employees. “ We are one of the few A third piece of history was companies that continuously also in the making on the day develops new features and I visited the laboratory-clean new technology, all year factory at Upplands Väsby, round. Our staff have this not far from Stockholm. interest, and also the Öhlins was preparing for opportunity … because we are the autumn launch (at the On the track the ECU can be programmed corner the right size. If we were bigger, Milan show),a brand-new, full by corner for the right suspension. /// we would be more locked up; production version of the CES if smaller, we wouldn’t have the budget.” electronic motorcycle suspension which it has been developing for many years and in this form since 1991. Full technical details and Öhlins has been winning GPs with Yamaha since the 1980s, and in more intriguingly, the name of the manufacturer were secret, but 2009 gained control of the MotoGP grid, when HRC switched one excitement at the factory was high at the future prospect of the rider from in-house Showa suspension. In 2010, both factory riders will be on Öhlins. But the founder is not completely delighted. unique-to-bikes Öhlins system. First, Mr Öhlin himself gave a rare exclusive interview, explaining the company philosophy – and how the new bike-suspension electronics were a continuation of long and very well-established


“To be proud is one thing. To be happy is another. I have had requests many times from Honda. I have nothing against them, but against monopoly. If you have no competition, how should you know

FIM M AGA ZINE . 6 9 / / / S E PT E M BER O C TO B ER 2 0 0 9

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Kenth Ă–hlin founder of the Swedish suspension compagny. ///


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Kenth Öhlin has strong views about increasingly restrictive technical regulations, including those banning electronic suspension from MotoGP. ///

anything? I look forward to having other competitors in the future. Although it is difficult for a big company to have the right logistics for this type of racing.” Öhlins (which does not provide their service to any team free of charge) provides engineers who travel back to headquarters between races, and development is non-stop in the spacious race department. During my visit, a whole are of workbenches was shielded from view … work-in-progress for Honda. But the founder has strong views about increasingly restrictive technical regulations, including those banning electronic suspension from MotoGP.

Fitment of this CES to a production bike is the first stage of racing getting left behind in suspension development – an anathema to a company valuing racing development so highly. “The rules need to be changed,” he says. “We need to let new technologies come up. We cannot forbid everything, like ABS was forbidden. “It is the same for traction control; the same as the switch from carburettors to fuel injection. We need new technology, especially in high end racing. “The motorcycle market is down by 45 percent. It needs new technology to lift customer interest. We are looking at a new generation, one that has grown up using computers. The screwdriver is not the tool they are seeking.” Öhlin paints a picture of possibilities soon to be generally available: of ECU controlled continuously adjustable damping that a rider can set for himself – one programme for a track day, another for commuting. He can tailor the settings using his mobile phone. On the track the ECU can be programmed corner by corner for the right suspension. And Öhlin insists that it will also reduce costs. “The most critical point in moving to electronic suspension is to inform the teams and manufacturers that it should not be more expensive. In my opinion, it will be cheaper. They have the engineers there already. It can be that we are looking at losing some of our jobs there.


“It is very hard to develop without racing,” he continues. Electronic CES will however come first in the open market. And if the higher levels of racing are still banned, “perhaps we will support Cup racing, at a lower level. This can get the knowledge out.” Our factory tour had revealed a quiet production area – in the recession the company had lost ten percent of the workforce, the remainder working a four-day week on reduced wages, a busy race department, a row of test dynos swishing front forks through every kind of movement – from slow sweeping to vigorous chatter, a rigorous quality control section that had rejected more than half of a batch of apparently perfect fork tubs, and a fascinating museum at the back. Pride of place goes to development hacks: two Supersport-type track bikes with the latest GP suspension and festooned with testing sensors, specially built by MG Competition in France. One has recently been crashed. And to one of the two-wheel-drive bikes – the off-road version – developed for Yamaha by Öhlins for the ParisDakar rally. Engineers devised a hydraulic drive, diverting power to the front when the rear starts to spin. Kenth is a fan. “The improvement on a road-race track in the wet, say a 60-second track, would be about five seconds, and one-and-a-half to two in the dry. You can take much tighter lines. I believe it is coming, because it is so much safer. Never for MotoGP, but for the street,” he says. Finally, Kenth agrees to pose for a special picture, in the machineroom, where his original lathe is still in situ. He switched on a newer one, and as he starts to machine a tube and the swarf comes looping off, he looks more relaxed than at any time either during the interview or in his eagle-eyed movements round the factory.

Born in the workshop indeed.

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Factory R&D Manager, Atsushi Ishii. ///

“A LONG SCREWDRIVER” - THE ELECTRONIC SUSPENSION REVOLUTION Öhlins CES (Continuously Controlled Electronic Suspension) will be available for the first time on a production motorcycle. The factory R&D Manager, Atsushi Ishii, gives a little background to a revolution that has been in use in mass-produced cars for well over eight years. Michael Scott: What does the CES system do for a rider? Atsushi Ishii: The first electronic suspension was in 1991. The new version replaces manual adjustment. It is like a long screwdriver. M.S.: Is it fully active? A.I.: The ECU depends on the application – it can take all signals. Whatever sensor system is fitted – gyros, accelerometers – it can do. At first the system will be quite simple, but it is capable of so much more. Look at the cellphone. The first were very simple. Just a phone. Look at the Iphone now. It has more power than the computers of that time. M.S.: In what way is the CES adjustable? A.I.: Like fuel injection. The mapping is adjustable. M.S.: How does the ECU adjust the suspension in use? A.I.: The standard motorcycle suspension is basically set for a compromise – traction, handling, braking. Electronics bend the rules. It can change settings for these functions as required. Get rid of the compromise. Again, compare with a carburettor: it has just one mixture needle. But fuel injection can have different maps for different corners. M.S.: So it will firm up the rear damping in acceleration, and the front for braking, for example. How does it do this? A.I.: With the CES valve. This replaces the shim stack, with numerous


settings on board. (This valve has been extensively developed, and Öhlins have clocked up one million manufactured for the car industry.) M.S.: Would the settings automatically change for different conditions? A.I.: In racing it could be adaptive, for example to respond to chatter. We exploit what is possible with technology. Like ESP in a car is adaptive. We are heading in that direction. M.S.: Will we end up with full active suspension? A.I.: Fully active suspension is possible for racing … but ask Rossi if we can steal 20 horsepower to operate it, and he will say no. Sooner or later we will see fully active, but maybe racing is not the way. Everything has its time. You have to walk before you can run, and we are still at the creeping stage now. M.S.: You have your first CES-equipped production bike coming up. What is the future? A.I.: The street system has the same potential as used in racing … it’s basically the same as the WSBK. For the street we build in better safety. In a couple of years, CES will be standard on street bikes. M.S.: But not racing bikes? A.I.: In a couple of years, that means street bikes will have a higher [suspension] specifications than in racing. The rules need to adapt. Look at the World Rally Championship: electronic diff’s were banned, and they had to use much more expensive mechanical diff’s. Electronics would be much cheaper. We need to have modern rules. M.S.: How would you sum up what CES offers to motorcycling? A.I.: It’s fun – the rules are bendable. You put them into 3D, with a moving matrix. A motorcycle is not like a car … it is a pleasure toy. by Michael Scott


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Speedway as a school of life Teenage Debut GP Winner Emil Sayfutdinov reveals his secrets The youngest FIM Speedway World Championship Grand Prix rider of 2009 could scarcely have imagined that his grand prix debut would be so unbelievable.

Russian racer Emil Sayfutdinov, 19 years old and double junior World Champion, not only reached the final. He went on and won it. That is exactly how it goes – unexpectedly forceful, unpredictably certain. In retrospect, the so-called “Russian Torpedo” was ready made for the role of precocious sideways superstar. He was born in 1989 in the small Russian town of Salavat, where speedway is one of the most respected sports. It’s not surprising that every local boy dreams of one day becoming a famous rider. Very few can later say that they actually managed it. Emil has the right to claim himself as one of this small elite. Growing up in a family atmosphere rich in motorcycle sport was the first influence on Emil’s future career. His father Damir had been a keen motocross racer, and went on to try his hand at the spectacular oval-track discipline of ice speedway, though without the same level of success. Emil’s brother Denis, eight years his senior, followed on to the oval-tracks. He continues as a professional speedway racer to this day, and Emil explains that it is thanks to Denis that he also took up the spectacular sideways sport. Like most of today’s champions in most motor sports, he started young, when his father built him a moped. Emil rode round the local area, especially in the winter, getting an early grasp of how to stay on two wheels when there is scant grip from the surface beneath them.

At nine, he started serious motorcycle sport. His first motocross race, on a 65cc machine, was in 1998. It was four years later that he switched seriously from off-


As one of the most famous riders, Emil is a really determined man. He has learned to set the aims, and to achieve them! .///

road to on-track. His enthusiasm for speedway, and his nascent skill, saw him selected for the junior team for the “MegaLada” club. He was so fast that he was moved almost directly to the senior team – a special concession from the MFR (Motorcycle Federation of Russian) allowed him to race against adults one year younger than is normally allowed. He was 14; the usual age limit is 15. It was a crucial year. Now he started to earn a little money as a sportsman, unusual among his contemporaries, as well as a chance to travel to more distant meetings. As an extremely respectful young man, he gave his first prize money to his parents. It was not, he now says, a large sum.

sport to become a serious and all-exclusive calling. “Speedway is my only vocation,” says Emil. “Or at least it is my line of work. If I hadn’t succeeded in speedway I would have probably tried motocross … anyway I would have chosen motor sport. I can’t imagine myself as a doctor, or something else.” It is not just the money, nor only the sport. “It is a great school of life, a really hard kind of sport. First I thought I would never let my future kids go in for sport, but now I believe there is a chance that I would do it. I would never force them – but if they became interested in speedway, I would gladly share my experience with them.”

Speedway had moved from being a favorite


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Sayfutdinov’s highlights are obviously the wins, and though he values these special moments, he usually holds to the principle that “once you finish a race, you forget about it”... ///

At 16, there was a sort of hiatus … a misunderstanding between Emil and his father and the club saw him depart from Russian speedway for a season. Far from a disaster, it was an educative experience for the teenager, for he competed instead in the Polish league. Not only did he gain sporting experience, he also learned how to live on his own, and to develop an independent philosophy. Far from his family, he became more self-reliant and more confident. Emil still doesn’t have a professional trainer, relying on his own speedway knowledge and the advice of his father.

“This season was really hard for me,” he said. “Sometimes I even had two race meeting in one day. I spent so much time on aircraft getting from one race to another that it almost feels like home aboard. All sportsmen who are really good in any sport have to dedicate most of their time to it. Sometimes I regret that I can’t have a summer holiday, and spend some time with my family,” he adds. In spite of the demands on his time, Emil managed to pass his driv ing test, and to find some spare time to play football with his team-mates in St Petersburg, where he now lives.

The hard-working Emil began his

Success in sport never comes easily. Most people understand such hardships as injuries and long recovery periods, and interminable fitness sessions. But what is the real cost of success for a young rider? What does he have to sacrifice to become really successful in speedway?

© Emil Archive His first motocross race, on a 65cc machine, was in 1998 . ///

Emil is no stranger to the level of dedication required. At the age of just 17, he was competing in three different leagues simultaneously: Russian, Swedish and Polish. It was now that he won his first World Championship – the junior title for riders under 21. He would do so again the following year, 2008. In spite of some poor qualifying results at senior level, this automatically entitled him to a wild card for the 2009 SGP Series. And opened the way to a year of extremely hard work.


Speedway Grand Prix career in the best possible way – victory as a rank rookie in the opening round of the year in the Czech Republic. This made him the youngest GP winner in the sport’s history, an unbelievable debut.

It was no fluke, a fact he emphasized with two further victories during the season so far, in Sweden and Slovenia. He reached the final in four of his first nine GPs, and has won three of them. It put him in the top three of the title standings, and secured his aim for the rest of the season, to “try my best to gain points in every heat”. Sayfutdinov’s highlights are obviously the wins, and though he values these special moments, he usually holds to the principle that “once you finish a race, you forget about it”.

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In spite of the demands on his time, Emil managed to pass his driving test, and to find some spare time to play football with his team-mates in St Petersburg, where he now lives . ///

Emil has some pet hates, things that interfere while he is trying to whoever his competitors are, he tries to win, even if people say handle the stress during a speedway meeting, where he will race that there is no chance. as many as seven times in one afternoon or evening. One major Emil Sayfutdinov as a youngest rider in the 2009 SGP Series, irritation is interruption to his concentration by well-meaning fans. and as double junior World Champion is well known among fans “People come to me during the meeting – different people – where speedway is popular. However many in his home town of distracting me with their talk. I don’t like it, but unfortunately they Salavat remain unaware of the scale of his achievements. He is don’t understand this. It’s always very annoying when somebody asked for his autograph more frequently in Poland. In fact such starts to explain to me how the race will end up. I really don’t want relative anonymity helps him to stay reasonable to know the results in advance.” and fair. As he says, he still values honesty most of The moment a sportsman all. Working on himself to avoid getting a swollen People often ask Emil what is his motto, but becomes proud of himself is head is one of his main aims. “The moment a apparently he has no secret credo which can the beginning of his fall bolster his chances of success. “They say I have a sportsman becomes proud of himself is the says Emil beginning of his fall”, says Emil. great talent, but I think that talent is not enough. You also need to work hard”, says Emil.

Working hard, Emil learned how to draw strength from uncertainty and apprehension. “There is absolutely no sense in the fear of the failure. It is your life, and you need to have a good try before giving up. At first I had some thoughts, like ‘Why am I doing this if it’s so scary?’ But then I realized that this is my calling and there is no need to be afraid. All I need to do is just try. Finally you get experienced in overcoming your fears”. Though the Russian Torpedo has achieved much in SGP-2009, he has had some problems in his first season – not only for technical reasons but also due to excessive striving for victory. It is too much haste that now and again prevents him from achieving it. And sometimes the more he strives, the deeper is his disappointment.

As one of the most famous riders, Emil is a really determined man. He has learned to set the aims, and to achieve them. The goal for this year was to participate in GPs. and to perform worthily. It’s almost done for now. But there always will be other aims to achieve, other obstacles to overcome and other boundaries to cross. by Tatiana Savina Adaptation in English by Michael Scott

To reduce stress prior to an event Emil established some simple rules. One of the main principles is to have good rest before the meeting, and try to remain alone while he is preparing. Also F I M MAG AZ I NE .6 9 /// S EP TEMBER O CTO BER 2009


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november / decem ber 6-7


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Fortaleza BRAZIL


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