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.