Kawasaki Team CLS recently announced that Christophe Pourcel will be returning to the squad next year to contest the 2012 FIM MX1 Championship. The Frenchman will be joined by his brother, Sébastien Pourcel, who has won multiple GPs for Kawasaki in the past. Last year Pourcel had a rollercoaster season after being fired from MotoConcepts Yamaha for his failure to appear at multiple AMA Motocross rounds. From there Pourcel turned to racing in Europe where he replaced Ben Townley at Kawasaki CLS. During the final three rounds of the 2011 FIM world championship Pourcel took victories in Italy and Great Britain, giving him some momentum heading into the upcoming season.
In 2011 Christophe Pourcel was fired from the MotoConcepts Yamaha team in AMA Motocross. He spent the rest of the season racing for Kawasaki CLS in the FIM Motocross series.
During their two year association with the legendary companies Monster Energy and Pro Circuit, Kawasaki Team CLS has enjoyed great success in the highly competitive MX2 class with numerous GP wins and two medal placings with Steven Frossard (2010) and Tommy Searle (2011). Entering the MX1 category for the first time this season, the team was extremely unlucky as injuries sidelined Ben Townley but Christophe Pourcel was the revelation of the series after joining the team mid-summer. A loyal Kawasaki rider throughout his career, winning both World MX2 and US SX titles on Kawasaki, Christophe proved with moto victories at each of the last three GPs that he is right back on his best form after just a few races in the class and a genuine candidate for more honors with Kawasaki in 2012.
Even though he has not discounted a return at some time during his career to racing in the USA, where he won two supercross
titles for Kawasaki, Christophe has chosen to contest the FIM World MX1 Championship with Kawasaki Team CLS next season. In their short time together they have already achieved a string of successes, and Christophe knows that all of the ingredients are there to get the best results. Under the guidance of Yann Lozano, who will be the MX1 team manager, Christophe will lead the CLS assault in MX1 and will be joined by his brother Sébastien who has now recovered from a pre-season back injury. Sébastien, who has won several GPs for Kawasaki in the MX1 class, returned to the saddle of a motocross bike just a few weeks ago, and immediately had a great feeling on the
Christophe Pourcel: "I want to race in the World Championship with team CLS, then I will have time to go back one day in the U.S. to try to win in 450 class."
KX450F to confirm the opinion of his doctors that he is once again ready to ride. Sébastien, racing alongside his brother for the first time since 2007, now has the entire winter to rebuild after his long break from racing, and he is already mentally prepared for the challenge which he will face.
Christophe Pourcel: “Next season I want to race in the World Championship with team CLS, then I will have time to go back one day in the US to try to win in 450 class. I’m pleased to work with such nice people, it has been one of the main reasons for me to sign with them; the relationship with Jean Jacques and Gael Luisetti, but also with Yann Lozano and Jeremy Fontaine is so strong that we understand each other’s perfectly, even when we don’t speak together. That’s so important for me! I’m also happy to be closer to my family. When I came back to Europe it took us a few weeks before we started winning races, but right from the beginning we were convinced that we could do it. I’ve always had a great feeling with Kawasaki, and I know that with the technical support of Kawasaki Factory and Pro Circuit I will have the best material available in the 2012 Kawasaki KX450F
. I’m also very happy to be back with Monster Energy; we already achieved great results together in the USA and I’m sure that we’ll have more in Europe. My goal is to do my best and fight with the top European riders.”
Sébastien Pourcel: “Next year we’ll have a strong team, and my goal will be to have fun on a bike again. My back and my shoulder are nearly OK now, and I’m working every day to get back to my best shape before I make a full-time return to riding. I just had one test ride on my KX450F a few weeks ago, and it was good to see that I no longer have any pain. Now I have all winter to work and be ready; I know that it’s a long process as I’ve been off a bike for many months but I feel sure that it’s possible to be competitive next season. We have the full support of Kawasaki and Mitch Payton, and the Pro Circuit bikes have always been winners. It will also be nice to be in the team with Christophe again. For sure he will be stronger than me, and I will draw on this experience to be competitive at the highest level and get back on the podium. For sure we’ll be rivals on the track, but we’ll help each other to offer the best possible results to Monster Energy, Kawasaki, Pro Circuit, and the CLS team.”
Jean Jacques Luisetti: “This is a real dream that we have achieved with this MX1 team, and we’re so happy! When we found a deal with Christophe for the last part of this season which brought back some good memories and we immediately started working to build a project with him and his brother Sébastien for 2012. For sure the MX2 programme is our priority, but, when you have Christophe in your team on a KX450F, you also know that you can win
Christophe Pourcel had wins during the final three rounds in the 2011 FIM MX1 Championship.
MX1 races! I think that we have everything to help him to reach this goal, and also to bring Sébastien back to his best level. I would like to thanks all our partners who helped us to build this MX1 team: Monster Energy, Kawasaki, Pro Circuit, Distri Bike and 13 Recyclage. Our MX1 and MX2 team will operate separately, but will be under the technical control of Harry Nolte who is the manager of the MX2 team, while Yann Lozano will be the MX1 manager and will work on the development of the 450. I trust 100% in both of them, we have already enjoyed success together and I’m sure they will each lead our teams to yet more glory. I will continue as the general manager of both teams, alongside my other business activities!”
Steve Guttridge (Kawasaki Motors Europe): “It’s great to have Christophe back racing in Europe and on a Kawasaki! He has grown up with our brand and enjoyed so much success with us over the years. When he won the MX2 World title in 2006 we helped secure the deal that he transferred directly into the Pro Circuit Kawasaki team on his move Stateside. Now the roles are reversed but the mutual cooperation between all the partners remains in place and with the same winning goals. I’m sure the cooperation will prove fruitful for our world championship MX1 results next season with both Christophe and Sébastien working back alongside one another on the all-new KX450F and within the CLS team environment.”
Bruce Stjernstrom (Monster Energy): “We are very happy to be part of this team; 2012 will be our third year with Kawasaki CLS Pro Circuit and every year the team grows up with better riders. I think that they now have the equipment to be prepared to win World Championship. When I found out that Christophe was available for this team we were very positive because we knew his ability, but also the fact he rides our bikes very well and happy as he has a great relationship with Mitch Payton and with me. I know him quite well and it works really well. We have a lot of respect for the current world champion but we think that next year we’ll give him a very good race. 2011 was our first year as sponsor of
Mitch Payton: "“I always had a strong relationship with Christophe, and I think that he can beat [Antonio] Cairoli and win the MX1 World Championship."
the series, and Youthstream did a great job in the World Championship and the Nations. We believe in Motocross, we want to be involved at the top level of the sport, and this series is very important for the world market and it’s good for our brand.”
Mitch Payton (Pro Circuit): “I always had a strong relationship with Christophe, and I think that he can beat Cairoli and win the MX1 World Championship; he is the best guy we could have on our bike! When he came back to Europe he needed some time to adapt as he wasn’t comfortable with the settings to ride the tracks over here; you know, you can send the parts from the USA but there’s still the need to adjust them for the circumstances you face and the team has learnt fast. We didn’t make it happen the first week, but now he’s got more comfortable with the team and with the bike, he’s back on his programme, winning races. And the way he works he is very confident; when he has success, he has a very strong mind. I hope that he can achieve his goal here, that will show to Kawasaki that he is a loyal person that they should keep on the brand! I hope that with Monster Energy and Kawasaki support we can have him back with us in the USA, if that’s the programme Christophe wishes.”