MEET­ING

Trial Magazine - - TRIAL MAGAZINE -

Hugo De­frese

You are like a new Michael Brown from Eng­land, where we gave him the nick­name ‘Mighty Atom’.

“My small frame is not a prob­lem as it makes me con­cen­trate more, and yes the nick­name ‘Mighty Atom’ is cor­rect, but I will have to be ‘Mighty Atom 2nd’ af­ter Michael. It’s quite funny when you men­tion Michael Brown as he has been very en­cour­ag­ing to­wards me since we first met. We share the same ap­proach to be­ing very fo­cused and de­ter­mined. On the back of my rid­ing shirt I had a don­key and Michael ex­plained that where he lives in Scar­bor­ough, they have don­keys on the beach, so we have many things in com­mon” — Hugo laughs!

What at­tracted you to mo­tor­cy­cle tri­als?

“I started with my in­ter­est in tri­als at the age of three, thanks to my father. My grand­fa­ther and my father also rode in tri­als at an am­a­teur level, so the sport has been around me for al­most all my life. My father still prac­tises as much as he can in be­tween look­ing af­ter me”.

Tri­als Me­dia: When did you first start to com­pete?

“My first mo­tor­cy­cle com­pe­ti­tion was in Mas­sais at the age of five with a Xispa 25. My lo­cal club or­gan­ised the trial. I can­not re­mem­ber the re­sult any­more but I can re­mem­ber that it was so much fun, and from that very day my mind was made up that my future was mo­tor­cy­cle tri­als; wha t a won­der­ful mem­ory!”

You men­tioned that you have to con­cen­trate so much.

“With my small phys­i­cal size, I have no choice but to con­cen­trate more on my tech­nique. This is be­cause the slight­est er­ror no mat­ter how lit­tle can be quickly trans­formed into a fail­ure. My mind­set is to break down the bigger ob­sta­cles to over­come them men­tally and this way I can then plan my route through them. I must ad­mit I am not strong enough… Mother Na­ture de­signed me that way”.

When did you start to achieve suc­cess?

“In the MT3 cat­e­gory, I won my first French Cham­pi­onship when I was six years old. Dur­ing this pe­riod we trav­elled a lot to Spain to take part in the Cat­alo­nia Youth Cham­pi­onship. At the time Cat­alo­nia had a re­ally good cal­en­dar with about ten rounds. It was re­ally great, and I en­joyed these times as it was very much fam­ily fun”.

Do you have any other sports in­ter­est at school?

“At Col­lege, we prac­tise many dif­fer­ent sports dis­ci­plines, but mar­tial arts sports are my favourites. I am gen­er­ally in very good shape as I train so much both on and off the mo­tor­cy­cle. My school pro­gramme is the same as the other young pupils in my age group. It was made quite clear to me at a very young age just how im­por­tant my ed­u­ca­tion is as once you have achieved your grades you have them for­ever. My par­ents are very se­ri­ous about school and my ed­u­ca­tion. My father made it quite clear: I have to achieve good grades or no tri­als rid­ing — as sim­ple as that”.

Your first ride in the Trial World Cham­pi­onship was in Spain 2017 at the open­ing round.

“I re­ally en­joyed the Trial World Cham­pi­onship. It was such a plea­sure to be among all my idols, and I was made very wel­come. I must also take this op­por­tu­nity to thank Trial Mag­a­zine — John com­ing to find me and speak with me at the open­ing round in Spain. The day started well, and af­ter the first lap, I was just one mark be­hind the leader and even­tual cham­pion Lorenzo Gan­dola. On the sec­ond lap I had a punc­ture, and then the very heavy rain came and raised the sever­ity of the haz­ards. How­ever, I still came home third; it was a good ex­pe­ri­ence to be part of ”.

Do you re­ceive direct sup­port from the Gas Gas fac­tory?

“I have al­ways had a very good re­la­tion­ship with Gas Gas. My par­ents al­ways re­mind me of the op­por­tu­ni­ties they sent my way. The Span­ish brand has sup­ported me from a very young age and to have been able to com­pete in the Trial 125 World Cham­pi­onship with their sup­port is some­thing I will al­ways re­main grate­ful for. They have helped me not just with me­chan­i­cal sup­port but also with the whole tri­als ex­pe­ri­ence. The team rid­ers and staff have al­ways been very kind to me. The new as­so­ci­a­tion with Jit­sie is the start of an­other new ex­cit­ing chap­ter in my life. The last few years I have be­gun to no­tice their en­thu­si­asm, which comes through in their prod­ucts such as the new dy­namic cloth­ing de­signs. They are such a pro­fes­sional com­pany. I feel very priv­i­leged and proud to be part of their 2018 team.

You mixed the Trial World Cham­pi­onship with the Euro­pean series in 2017. Was there a rea­son for this?

“2017 has been a fairy­tale year as I won all the na­tional cham­pi­onships I com­peted in: Euro­pean Youth Cham­pi­onship, Open Cham­pi­onship of France and Hope 1 and the Team Cham­pi­onship of France. We de­cided to give pri­or­ity to the Euro­pean Cham­pi­onship over the World Cham­pi­onship. My father de­cided that we had to get things in per­spec­tive. That’s what we did, and for this rea­son, I didn’t go to Ja­pan be­cause the dates clashed with a part of the Euro­pean Cham­pi­onship in Latvia. In the end, it was a time for dou­ble cel­e­bra­tion as I also made good grades in my school­work — Re­sult!”

Tell us about your plans for 2018

“In 2018 I will com­pete in the Trial 125 World Cham­pi­onship and in the Se­nior Class Cham­pi­onship in France. I aim to do my best and have some fun. I have to thank ev­ery­one who has made it pos­si­ble for the ad­ven­ture to ar­rive at this point. I would also like to thank my par­ents who have for­saken so much to sup­port me; I love them both so much. Bring on 2018 I can­not wait”. Trial Mag­a­zine would like to thank Eric Le­juene for his help in gen­er­at­ing this ar­ti­cle.

2017 An­dorra: With Michael Brown, the orig­i­nal ‘Mighty Atom’.

63 2017 An­dorra: Gas Gas is my mo­tor­cy­cling fam­ily.

2017 Spain: On the podium af­ter a frus­trat­ing day.

65 2017 France: “I must be faster in qual­i­fy­ing”. 2017 Great Bri­tain: 100% con­cen­tra­tion!

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