Motul Celebrates 50th Anniversary of 300V Racing Oil at the 2021 Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach

Motul Celebrates 50th Anniversary of 300V Racing Oil at the 2021 Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach

Motul Celebrates 50th Anniversary of 300V Racing Oil at the 2021 Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach

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Cypress, Calif. (Sept. 23, 2021
) – Motul, the French oil company founded in 1853, will celebrate the 50th anniversary of its flagship 300V racing oil at the 2021 Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach, putting its new 300V formula to the test on track with partners like Forrest Wang in the Formula D Super Drift Challenge, Lyfe Motorsports in the Global Time Attack Competition, and Pfaff Motorsports in the IMSA SportsCar Grand Prix of Long Beach. Available to consumers in the United States this fall, the new 300V builds upon Motul’s legendary ESTER Core® Technology and comes in an expanded range of viscosities with increased engine protection, reliability, and power. 
 
“300V is Motul’s most advanced racing oil,” said Motul USA Brand Manager Nolan Browning. “We worked hard to make new 300V even better, using technical data from Motul sponsored racing teams to develop a product worthy of the historic 300V name. New 300V provides for quantifiable, dyno-proven power gains all while improving upon the reliability and protection that have made 300V famous. We couldn’t be more excited to return to the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach as an Official Sponsor for the U.S. preview of new 300V on track.” 

To go along with the U.S. preview of the new 300V, Motul collaborated with Acura on a digital livery for the all-new NSX Type S. The Motul heritage-inspired red and white graphics pull inspiration from historic Motul race cars, while a set of brushed gold HRE Vintage FMR 527M 2-piece wheels lend motorsports styling to this limited-run supercar. 

Motul Celebrates 50th Anniversary of 300V Racing Oil at the 2021 Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach

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Marked by a 50% improvement in shear stability, the new 300V range ensures maximal oil film resistance and consistent oil viscosity, reducing wear to vital engine components like pistons, bearings and connecting rods during periods of extreme use. The high detergent level of new 300V also improves engine cleanliness while increased oxidation and thermal resistance prolongs oil life. Maximal polar adherence of the oil film helps deliver dyno-proven power gains and reduces friction between engine components for improved engine response as well as consistent oil pressure and lubrication. Low oil volatility and evaporation keep oil consumption to a minimum under extreme use conditions. 

New 300V comes in an expanded range of oil weights for increased compatibility. Motul designed the new low viscosity grade (0W-8 to 5W-30) 300V POWER series for maximum horsepower and torque, optimizing the formula for engines subject to low oil fuel dilution. The new mid viscosity grade (0W-40 to 15W-50) 300V COMPETITION series balances power and reliability and is formulated for engines subject to low oil fuel dilution. Optimized for extreme racing conditions, the new high viscosity grade (10W-60 to 20W-60) 300V LE MANS series, the only oil to bear the prestigious Le Mans name, offers maximum engine reliability with quantifiable performance benefits and is designed specifically for the intensity of endurance racing. 

Motul Celebrates 50th Anniversary of 300V Racing Oil at the 2021 Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach

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Motul has also improved the ecological impact of the new 300V formulas, integrating synthetic organic base stocks into the new formulas. These base stocks are comprised of non-fossil renewable materials, decreasing Motul’s carbon footprint while upholding its commitment to performance. 

For 50 years 300V has been Motul’s flagship oil line, trusted by racing teams throughout the world for its tested and proven composition. Available this fall, new 300V looks toward the future of motorsports while offering improved formulations for historic and modern-classic race cars. Motul’s sponsorship agreement with the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach will further assist in the development of advanced lubricants and car care products like new 300V. 

ABOUT MOTUL 

Founded in 1853, Motul is a world-class French company specializing in the formulation, production and distribution of high-tech engine lubricants. In 1989, Motul entered the US market as Motul USA, where it has become well-known for its motorsports-derived automotive and powersports products. Motul also serves heavy-duty industries through its MotulTech division. 

Recognized as an innovator of lubrication technologies for more than 150 years, Motul is regarded for its quality, competition-proven products. With the release of 300V in 1971, Motul became the first lubricant manufacturer to formulate a 100% synthetic engine lubricant using esters technology. 

Motul is a partner to numerous manufacturers and racing teams with the goal of furthering its technological developments in motorsports. It has invested in international competitions, serving as an official supplier for teams in road racing, trials, enduro, endurance, Superbike, Supercross, Rallycross, World GT1, 24 Hours of Le Mans (cars and motorcycles), 24 Hours of Spa, Le Mans Series, Andros Trophy, Paris-Dakar, 8 Hours of Suzuka, Bol d’Or and the Daytona 200-mile motorcycle race. 

FABRIZIO AZZALIN: “IF ALL OUR RIDERS FINISH, I’M A HAPPY MAN”

FABRIZIO AZZALIN: “IF ALL OUR RIDERS FINISH, I’M A HAPPY MAN”

Six days of Enduro. Six days of eating dust. Sherco is one of the new names in the paddock for this year’s event. The French company recently set up a full customer racing program for the first time. The man guiding this is none other than Enduro GP team manager Fabrizio Azzalin. We caught up with him as the sun was setting over Rivanazzano. 

Fabrizio, this is the first time Sherco has been involved in the Six Days of Enduro. Why is it so important? 
The Six Days has been held since 1913 and is the oldest enduro race in the world. So, it was very important to be here. Sherco does many things, but its core business is enduro. I was very pleased to be asked to organise this event and the first customer service programme. Today we are supporting 20 riders. Ten of them have a full-service collaboration. They rent a bike and get the entire package. Ten others are riding their bikes and we provide technical support. In the end, this event is different from an Enduro GP as most of the guys are amateurs, so they need a bit more help. 

What does this event mean to you, especially as a local?
The fact that the organisers were able to set this up is incredible. The global pandemic is not yet 100% behind us. It’s not easy to organise this event as we’re in a public space using public roads. We had some pushback from a green organisation. But they don’t realise that we as the enduro community really care about nature and the environment we ride in. On top of that, it hasn’t rained here for over two months so we’re struggling a little bit with dust.

This year the Motul Dakar truck, with its mobile lab, is here in Italy. What does the collaboration with Motul bring to the table? 
Like for Sherco, this is the first time Motul is so involved, and I think it’s a great opportunity for us and them. On top of that when we change the oil halfway through the race we can now get it analysed completely and learn a lot about our engines.

For its first appearance, Sherco has a really big presence here. Is it an important part of Sherco’s growth path? 
Yes, 100%. Not only is Sherco growing very fast, but this is also a very interesting event from a branding and marketing point of view. Even though with the Covid situation there aren’t as many spectators as possible at this event, it’s actually not such a big deal. For us, the event is really about customers. There are 650 riders here, 620 of them enthusiasts and they buy bikes, tyres, and other products, so it’s a key event in that aspect too.

You obviously have massive amounts of experience yourself. How do you guide the Sherco riders? 
Personally, my job is to support them technically and if they finish, I’m happy. In the end, most of them are “on holiday” and they are just here to enjoy themselves, so I don’t really have to guide them that much and they don’t really come to me for advice. The hardest part for them is changing the tyres at the end of every day. They’re not professional so they have never done this before and they need a bit of help. 

ROBIN APPLEYARD: “I’M NOT A SUPERSTAR BUT I LEARNED A LOT”

ROBIN APPLEYARD: “I’M NOT A SUPERSTAR BUT I LEARNED A LOT”

In British Supersport, one name ranks above them all – Appleyard Macadam Racing. But for this team, which has won the championship four times, it’s not just about winning. Part of its ‘raison d’être’ is to spot, coach and develop young talent as they make their way through the motorcycling classes. This year, one of their rookies, Bradley Perie, is sitting second in the British Supersport Championship, a support series to the British Superbike Championship. Ahead of this weekend’s next round at Donington Park, and with all to play for, we caught up with team boss and ex-racer Robin Appleyard.

Robin, Appleyard Macadam is a big name in motorcycling. Could you tell us more about how the team came about?
Appleyard Macadam goes back more than 20 years, to when I retired from racing. I kept my sponsors and set up a 125 and 250 team with Honda support. I went on to set up the Red Bull Rookie team. In later years, we’ve had Yamaha support since 2018 and we became its official SuperSport team. We’ve run a successful two-man team ever since. Appleyard Macadam has won the British Superstock Championship for the past four years and we’ve won more than 50 races during that time. So, we’ve been pretty successful.

Over the years you have had some top talent through the doors. Is rider development a part of your strategy?  Our team ethic is to develop young riders. For example, Jonathan Rea came through the Red Bull Rookies when I was looking after that. And we’ve had many more successful top riders who we’ve helped on their way. Rory Skinner is another, who is the hottest property in UK racing now. He rode our bike last year. I really enjoy picking younger riders and giving them an opportunity and a platform, and trying to develop them at the same time, using the team’s experience and my experience. I did nearly 100 Grand Prix races. I’m not a superstar but I learned a lot. What we try to do is give them a steep learning curve and they will go away with a few years of experience of how to set a bike up and how to conduct themselves. 

What riders have you got on the roster this year?
This year we went for two young riders again. Our first, Rhys Irwin, who is only 18, is very much a rookie. We’re challenging him and making progress. I’ll be disappointed if I don’t get him in the top three or four in the second half of the season. The other is Bradley Perie, and it’s the first time he’s ridden a competitive bike. He’s had four wins already and I think he’s a title contender. We keep getting these young lads, putting them on a good bike, and coaching them at the same time. The team gets a lot of joy out of seeing them develop. Winning is ok. But I get more satisfaction from getting Rhys from the third row of the grid to the front.

What attracted your team to use Motul?
Motul is a world-renowned lubricant that you can trust. These engines are working hard, and you need a decent oil in there. We also use Motul as the trusted oil in our car workshops (we have five car showrooms across the UK). It’s great that we have a proven product that we trust to put in all our service cars as well as racing. Motul has been a partner for the past four years, and this is the second year it has been involved with us on a competition level. 

In racing, finding that balance between reliability and performance is the holy grail. Does Motul help you achieve that?
The reliability factor is the point. The 600 race bikes are working extremely hard for every lap. When the engines come to be refreshed you can tell the lubricant is looking after them. The performance of the bike is good, and the reliability is good, and that gives us a strong package and a lot of confidence.

TAG RACING: “WE’VE SEEN SOME GREAT RESULTS USING THIS OIL”

TAG RACING: “WE’VE SEEN SOME GREAT RESULTS USING THIS OIL”

As the British Superbike Championship heads to Donington Park for round five of the hotly contested competition, we speak with Motul-backed TAG Racing’s crew chief and team manager Gary Winfield. The family-run team moved from Yamaha to Honda in 2020, and now runs the CBR1000RR-R Fireblade SP. As they seek to find the perfect setup for the roaring Honda, Gary explains how the season is going so far and how Motul helps.

Gary, you’re almost halfway through the BSB season. How do you feel it’s gone so far, particularly as you’re fielding a new bike?
It’s a big jump. We’re the only team in the series that has changed manufacturer this year. They might have got a new bike, or upgraded a bike, but most things stay the same. We sold all our Yamahas and switched to Honda. And that’s never an easy thing to do and start doing well with. We never expected to be winning or up near the front straight away. We chose the Honda over other brands because of how well it did out of the box last year. I think we’re at a turning point now and we’ve found some ground with the bike. We’ve established a bit more of a base setting for it now and we’re not doing massive changes to gearing and so on at each track. That’s better for the rider as well as they know how it’s going to ride. We made some big changes at Cadwell Park recently and that has had an impact in an area we were struggling in. Donnington should be a turning point for us.

You’re only running one bike this year, is that right?
We have one superbike this year with Dan Linfoot riding it. We wanted to focus on one bike rather than running two, putting our all into it and not doubling the cost. We’ve also got my brother Shaun on the stock 1000. He has been struggling a bit with arm problems this year and had surgery recently. He’s definitely got the pace and showed it at Thruxton, but three or four laps in he struggles.

What do you think of the Honda?
Compared to the Yamaha, the power is the biggest thing really. With the Yamaha, we were putting lots and lots of money into development to try and get the power right, because that was one of the weakest parts of it. This Honda, out of the box, has more power so we don’t have to do as much in this area. The bike is lovely to work on and everything works well. We have no tech issues. It’s just set up really, which doesn’t happen overnight, and we still have more things to try. We were on the Yamaha from 2016 to 2020, so we had a few years of knowledge. Now we’re back to the drawing board with Honda. 

When did you start using Motul?
We switched to Motul in 2020. We’ve seen some great results with the engines using this oil and we’ve never had any technical issues at all. It’s definitely the best oil out there and the product is second to none.

What tracks are your favourite from a manager’s point of view?
The best track for me as a manager is the one the bike works best at [laughs]. One of the best tracks last year for us was Donnington, which we’re going to next. And Silverstone as well. It’s a great place for the bike. We’re hoping for some good results at these.

You raced before becoming a team manager. Which side of the fence do you prefer?
I enjoyed the racing and 2015 was a turning point for me. I raced a whole year and didn’t crash once [laughs]. But I was getting more and more involved in the team, working on the bikes etc. You have to put yourself into one or the other. You can’t do half on each. It can be a lot easier from this side of the fence, but also more stressful, with a lot of long nights on the mechanic side. Ultimately, when the flag goes down, that’s all you can do and it’s down to the riders. When the last race finishes, it doesn’t stop either. As a manager and crew chief, I’m straight back into the workshop trying to make the bikes better.

JORDAN CURVALLE: “WE ARE ALWAYS LOOKING OUT FOR NEW CHALLENGES”

JORDAN CURVALLE: “WE ARE ALWAYS LOOKING OUT FOR NEW CHALLENGES”

Jordan Curvalle is the team manager for the Sherco Racing Factory team. With an impressive competitive background, including an overall victory in the International Six Days Enduro and three European enduro titles, he brings invaluable experience to the team of young guns bristling with ambition. We caught up with Jordan in the forests of Sweden during the Enduro GP round there. 

Jordan, we’re here in Sweden with Hamish Macdonald and Antoine Magain. How was this round of the Enduro GP championship? 
It was an odd round in the championship. It’s not what we expected of Sweden. It almost felt like we were racing in Spain or Italy, not Sweden. Overall, we’re delighted with the result and Hamish did very well. Antoine did very well too but had a crash in the last special test and needed to go to hospital to have his wrist checked. He definitely had the pace to be in front. So, despite it being a very tough weekend, we can be positive and hope for a swift recovery by Antoine. 

You have competed a lot in the past, which brings a lot of experience to the team. How do you play this out as a team manager? 
I’d like to think it’s great to have this experience because it’s easier to think like the riders. On top of that, I still ride a lot, especially in winter when I do the development work for our new bikes. During these tests, I join our riders on the same track as they are testing the race bikes on, and they will come to me for advice on how to set up the bike or tackle certain obstacles. They know I have this experience, so they ask a lot of questions, and I think it’s my responsibility to support them in any way possible. 

When it comes to developing a bike like this how much can you still do? And where can you improve the most? 
The improvement of the product we sell to our customers is very much down to the way the rider wants his bike set up. It can vary between riders depending on their style, background, and even their nationality. It’s crazy how you can see similarities between French riders who will often share the same style of riding, whereas a Spanish rider will be different. When it comes to the bikes themselves, the most significant improvements are made with the introduction of electronics. This is a new area for enduro, but it’s here where we can make a big difference. 

Sherco is involved in a lot of different disciplines, and so are you. Is there any crossover in knowledge or experience? 
For a company like Sherco, it’s really interesting to be involved in so many different things and keep a lookout for more challenges. It’s more critical for us to be present in new challenges and competition that represent a market. Each individual category is so different, so there is little cross-over.

What does a brand like Motul mean to you and Sherco? 
Our partnership with Motul has been a big step for us. Our story began during the Dakar. Here we got introduced to the people of Motul, and they supported us with their expertise, and we were able to get a lot of feedback from them. The analysis done by the Motul Lab helped us put three bikes in the top 20. The key component in our partnership is Motul’s products and its expertise. That really helps us push forwards.

BRAD PERIE: “HAVING A BIKE THAT’S ALWAYS THERE FOR YOU IS REALLY IMPORTANT”

BRAD PERIE: “HAVING A BIKE THAT’S ALWAYS THERE FOR YOU IS REALLY IMPORTANT”

Brad Perie races for British Supersport team Appleyard Macadam, where a win at Donington recently propelled him into the top spot of the championship. With half the season left to play, we catch up with Brad, who is enjoying his first year in the celebrated team, on board the Yamaha YZF-R6.

Brad, congrats on a superb win at Donington, putting you top of the leaderboard…
Yes, that Saturday win put me in first in the championship. There was only one point in it. it was a good weekend, even though I couldn’t repeat the win on Sunday.

Is this your first-year racing for Appleyard Macadam?
I was in SuperSport and have a couple of years under my built as a privateer. To the team I might be a rookie, but as far as the championship and the bike, I’m not a newbie. It’s still a big learning experience though, especially as I’m now challenging for the front rather than being mid-pack. That side of things is all new to me. Otherwise, I’ve probably got quite a good chance to be in contention to win it.

We’re mid-way through the season. How does it feel? Is it exciting and nerve-wracking?
I think it’s very motivating. I’d rather be one point in front than one point behind. But it is nerve-wracking. There’s more pressure. I’m having to use my head more and collect points, and score good points, and not do things that could lose any. The team has a lot of history regarding winning and I want to carry that on. I’m not too stressed. The way I see it, I’m in a very fortunate position to be able to do motorcycle racing in the first place. When I go back to work on Monday, back to the real world and I talk to work colleagues who might have family problems or bills to catch up on, racing doesn’t seem stressful compared to some real-world situations. I just feel very fortunate and want to enjoy every second of it.

Reliability is always important in racing, but at this stage in the championship, it must be crucial for you? 
It is something that’s important. If I make a mistake and throw away a race or a practice session (once you miss a practice session you’re always behind), having a bike that’s always there for you is really important. Especially now when we’re in the second half of the season and it’s really close with four or five guys challenging for the lead and 35 points separating them. And that might sound like a lot, but if you have one DNF, you lose 10 points behind first. So, it really can swing. If I make a mistake, I hold my hands up. But there’s nothing worse than having mechanical issues. I’ve got to say, since moving to Appleyard Macadam, we haven’t had any issues. I’m probably in the best team to not have these mechanical problems because it’s so well supported.

Obviously, Motul is a trusted partner of the team. What kind of support and benefit do its products bring to your racing?
It’s a world-leading brand. You can talk to anyone in the bike world about Motul, and they all know what it is. It supports a lot of high teams around the world. Where we are in the championship, it’s so important that everything is tip-top perfect, and with people like Motul behind us, it gives us the best chance and the confidence to go for it.

Racing motorbikes is not yet your full-time job, but probably a full-time commitment. How do you balance this?
I’m committed to it. I’m in my twenties now and I see my friends progressing with their careers and I don’t want to get left behind chasing a hobby that is massively expensive. But at the same time, I’m on the brink of going to Superbikes and there a race packet is available. It is a tricky one. I want to follow certain careers, but they wouldn’t give me the time off I need for racing and training. I’m very lucky that I have people around me who provide me with the flexibility. It’s very give and take. When we stop racing, I go above and beyond to help others out.

Is Superbikes the next step for you?
If financing really wasn’t an option, I personally would like to go into World Supersport. The transition would be tough because of the competition, the tracks, and the electronics, but the bikes are very similar. I think it would bring me on massively as a rider. 

Have you ever been tempted to get into road racing?
I come from a road racing family, who have competed at the TT, Cookstown, Tandragee and so on. I’ve been asked by a lot of people to do it. And I would never say never. But you really must want to do it to do it. I’ve been told there’s a lot of financial gain if you can do well, but because it’s such an on the edge and committed sport, you must be committed to do it. 

*This interview was conducted after the Donington round of the British Supersport Championship

AVALON BIDDLE: “I’M SMALL AND LIGHT, SO I HAVE A GOOD POWER-TO-WEIGHT RATIO”

AVALON BIDDLE: “I’M SMALL AND LIGHT, SO I HAVE A GOOD POWER-TO-WEIGHT RATIO”

In the male-dominated world of motorcycle racing, one woman from New Zealand is proving that gender is no barrier to entry. New Zealander Avalon Biddle first sat on a bike as a six-year-old, igniting a passion that would go on to see her compete in national and international Supersport. Now, the Motul-sponsored racer is gearing up for the new season ahead Down Under.

Avalon, it’s coming up to spring soon in New Zealand. Is racing about to start again, and how was the previous season?
Our New Zealand championship is pretty short. It runs from January to April and has just five rounds. We’ve had a couple of races cancelled when the whole country went into lockdown but we’ve been pretty lucky and most of the racing’s been pretty normal. For instance, we ended up only having three rounds of the New Zealand championship due to Covid. The racing then stops over winter and starts again in September. I live on the South Island and we have a series starting then called the Southern Race Series. That’ll be the first race of the season. Then over the summer we have more big race meetings around the country. It’s mostly circuit racing, but we have another event called the Suzuki International Series, with the last round taking place on the street. I was racing the year before last in the Australian championship as well. Obviously, I couldn’t do that anymore because of the pandemic. You either have to be here or there. 

How did you get on this year in the New Zealand championship?
Not that good [laughs]. I came fourth in both the Suzuki Series and the New Zealand championship. I was close to third in both, but the street circuit let me down. I was third coming into that race. I’m definitely more of a circuit racer. In the New Zealand championship, I got taken out in the last race of the season. So, it wasn’t too bad of a result, but it’s strange and frustrating to be so close to the podium.

Is this racing unisex and, if so, how do you find it?
Yeah, we’re all together. I like it. I started road racing when I was 13. So as a teenager coming into a sport where you can beat the boys was great. I never felt disadvantaged. But I’m definitely not as strong as the men, especially when it comes to upper body strength. So I have to train really hard and retain that. Other than that, because I’m quite small and light, often it’s an advantage because I have a good power-to-weight ratio. But yes, that’s what I like about the sport, the fact women and men can race together and compete equally. 

You ride a Kawasaki ZX6R. How are you getting on with the bike?
It’s awesome, actually. It’s been really good. We’re allowed to do a bit of engine work to give them a bit more horsepower. I’ve been running it for about four years now. I’m really lucky to have people around such as great mechanics who help me out. But it’s a lot of effort from everyone involved and I like to be hands-on with the bike myself. It’s been a big learning experience to get my head around everything, but it’s cool I’m familiar now with the bike.

What benefit do you see on the mechanical and racing side having Motul as a partner?
I don’t have to worry about the engines. I know that 300V is the best oil you can get for these engines that are very highly strung. We do an oil change after every race, and we know that in doing that we’re doing everything we can to keep the engine at its best. Obviously, we use all the other Motul products as well, such as the cleaning gear.

As well as racing and training, you have a full-time job, too. How do you manage to fit it all in?
I really love motorbike racing. It’s definitely my biggest passion. My partner races as well. Sometimes it’s really tough to fit everything in. I go to the gym before work, and when I get home, I spend a lot of time working on the bikes or doing stuff for sponsors. Sometimes my motivation is super high, but other times I struggle.

How did you start in motorbike racing?
My brother got a motorbike when he was six or seven. He’s a bit older. So, I was desperate to get one when I got to that age. We grew up riding dirt bikes, and later I started riding on tarmac at a local karting track on mini motos.

MARIO ROMAN: “I MAKE MY TRAINING MORE CHALLENGING THAN MOST RACES”

MARIO ROMAN: “I MAKE MY TRAINING MORE CHALLENGING THAN MOST RACES”

Mario Roman is cut from a different cloth than most of us are. When you see a steep hill that seems impossible to scale, he’s probably already halfway to the top! As a Sherco rider, he’s now competing in the tough Enduro World Championship and has announced a new partnership with Motul.

Mario, for those who are new to the sport, can you quickly explain what “hard enduro” is? 
Hard enduro is an extreme sport on a motorbike. There even are some hard enduro events where 2000 riders can start a race but only five will actually finish it! It’s a sport where your greatest adversary is not the other competitors, but the natural terrain and obstacles.

What made you gravitate to this discipline? 
When I was a child, I started trial riding. After a while, I moved up to FIM Enduro. I soon realised that I really loved the events that were fast and extremely technical. I tried a few hard enduro events and fell in love with them. The thing about hard enduro is that it’s not all about results. When you cross that finish line you feel very exhilarated. By finishing the event you’ve accomplished something and that is a great feeling! 

What’s been the hardest challenge you faced so far? 
You have a few hours to spare [laughs]? In five years of hard enduro, I have had so many big challenges. The biggest one however was at the Erzberg Rodeo in 2015, when, like I said, only five of the 2000 riders who started managed to finish. Before the event, I had suffered a serious knee injury, but I managed to overcome the pain and compete it. I managed to beat the challenges and be one of the five finishers. I was a privateer at the time and this result landed me my first manufacturer’s contract. 

How do you prepare for such a challenge, both physically and mentally?
By training and competing a lot you get a tougher mindset. Each challenge you overcome is an extra layer of “toughness”. The best way to do this is to face much more difficult challenges during your training than the ones you’re presented with during the competition.

You’re now representing the Sherco factory. What does it mean to be on that blue and yellow bike?
I’ve been with Sherco for five years now and it’s been a great partnership. We travel to 20 countries a year and have managed to get some great results out of it. The bike works really well, and the team is amazing. I can’t wait to do more! 

How are you looking forward to the upcoming season?*
This year will be amazing. It will be the first year there will be an official FIM Hard Enduro World Championship. This changes everything. In the past, I just wanted to get my name on the top of single events such as Erzberg or Romaniacs. Now there is much more to fight for. I can work more strategically and hunt for championship points in the hope of winning a world championship. 

When It comes to Motul, I understand that you also have more great news this season? 
Yes! For 2021 I’m super excited to announce that I’ll be a global ambassador for Motul, which is incredibly special to me as Motul was the first-ever brand to sponsor me when I was a kid riding trial bikes. The quality goes without saying and it’s a true insurance when it comes to having a reliable bike.

*This interview took place prior to the start the 2021 season

© Pictures: GA Photos, Sherco, Afam, Red Bull Romaniacs, Frederik Herregods

TEAM HRC’S ROGER SHENTON: “IT’S EXTREMELY IMPORTANT THE OIL STAYS CONSISTENT”

TEAM HRC’S ROGER SHENTON: “IT’S EXTREMELY IMPORTANT THE OIL STAYS CONSISTENT”

Roger Shenton is the team coordinator of Team HRC, looking after the technical side of things. With less than a month to go before the 2021 MXGP season start, Roger talks us through getting the bikes ready, how Motul lubricants help with their success and why, despite the championship win in 2020, they are not resting on their laurels. 

Roger, not long now until the MXGP season opener…
Yeah, our first event is in Russia, starting on June 13th. It’s just a one-day event. Hopefully it all goes smoothly. It’s quite difficult to get to Russia normally, but in a pandemic, it’s even tougher. Our aim is to get the ball rolling now for this current season.

Team HRC has had a fantastic few years. How do you keep building on that?
We just try to keep improving. We’re not perfect by any means. But we just try to keep pushing ourselves wherever we can to improve the bike. Whether it’s from our side, Japan side, or with our sponsors, we can make some requests and they always come back positive.  It’s great to have a sponsorship partner like Motul because they do help a lot with their products and it’s a cog in the system that helps everything work as smoothly as possible for our team.

When it comes to improving the bikes, how much involvement is there between Honda Racing and Motul R&D departments? 
When Motul has a new product coming out, we will test this in Japan at our R&D department. When we get the green light, we can transfer it straight on. Normally, we put it on the training bikes first, and then we transfer up to the race bikes. We don’t really just jump in with something straight away, we always test it first. It’s great that the R&D side from Motul come up with these ideas that basically help and improve the running of the bike.

I guess from a testing point of view, it doesn’t get much better than proving it on the track. Do you pass a lot of that feedback to HRC and Motul to help continuously improve things?
Every time that bike comes back off the track, this data is taken, and assessments are carried out. If it’s a special test use for a particular item or product, we give that feedback directly to the sponsor. And also, of course, with Japan. Everyone’s in a circle basically. 

When it comes to your choice of tech partners, you have been a partner with Motul for quite a few years now…
We’ve been working with Motul now for a good few years. And we have no issue at all with the support and the products it provides us with. It’s great working them.

MXGP is very demanding on the bikes. How does Motul’s products help you in your campaign to win championships? 
Well, let’s use engine oil as an example. Basically, that’s very important, especially when we have a rider like Tim Gasjer who likes to use the bike to the maximum. So, it’s extremely important that the oil stays consistent and doesn’t lose any of its lubrication effectiveness and doesn’t deteriorate. Also, with heat, we gain a lot of heat from the engine, so we need a really high-quality, reliable oil to deal with this. Which Motul is. More importantly is the consistency and the reliability and how it stays in perfect condition for the duration of each race. And with brake fluid, we need a high-quality fluid that has a high boiling point for consistent braking.

It’s less than a month now until the MXGP start. What are you doing in the final few weeks, and does it start to get a bit nerve wracking?  
The base setup is already done. We’ve tested the bikes and did a couple of races just to get that feeling back again. The riders have also been working on their fitness. So, we’ll go into the first round with both riders knowing exactly what the bike can do, and where it’s improved from last year. We’re always looking for a little bit extra, but that’s the same as everybody else.