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A difficult yet productive season for the Equipe de France

A difficult yet productive season for the Equipe de France

A difficult yet productive season for the Equipe de France

After a fruitful 2001 season with Randy de Puniet and Sylvain Guintoli, the Equipe de France had a much more complicated campaign this year. At the start of the season, the team managed by Jean Claude Besse fielded Vincent Philippe and rookie rider Hugo Marchand.

´It had been a tough year, because we didn´t get the results we expected´ explains Jean Claude Besse. ´It was disappointing for sure, but we were bound to have such problems with two rookies. The best solution would be to have a confirmed rider and a youngster, but last year our two riders left the team. That´s why we signed Vincent Philippe, but he didn´t manage to get along with the team and to come back to his best level´.

Philippe was then sacked after Assen and replaced by Erwan Nigon, who was racing in the European Championship. ´From the middle of season, we had two riders with little experience. This year, even if some top riders left the Championship, there was a very strong group and in those conditions, it was much more difficult for two young riders´.

Despite poor results - Nigon took 28th overall and Marchand 33rd, this campaign can be seen as good preparation for the next season : ´The morale of the team wasn´t affected by this difficult year. Our riders gained experience and are now well integrated in the team. We chose to keep Hugo and Erwan in order to build on the experience gained this year´.

With its two riders confirmed for the next 250cc World Championship, the Equipe de France is ready to focus on its winter testing program. ´We´re going to do a lot of testing this winter, because when the conditions are good, we can easily go to Nogaro and Pau. Last year, we lost time during the winter as we had to choose our riders. This year, the team is already built and the two riders are ready to prepare the 2003 season´.

250cc, 2002

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