Welcome to our web-exclusive weekly column: Transmoto's MXGP Insider, presented by Kawasaki.
Former World MX2 Champion, Christophe Pourcel, of France has often been considered the total contradiction. He works hard and trains hard, but many within his former or present teams sometimes struggle to work with him. He's one of the most talented motocross riders of all time, but also one of the most difficult.
After three rounds of the FIM World MX1 Championship, Pourcel has a GP victory from Italy last week, and is in third place in the series points standings behind defending Champion Antonio Cairoli and fellow Frenchman Gautier Paulin.
Pourcel knows that the hard pack circuits will help him make ground on series leader Cairoli, and it was the hard pack in Bulgaria and Italy that showed that Pourcel is back on track to become the riders everyone knows he is.
"I was confident already when we arrived in Italy. We had the bike set up really well from the race in Bulgaria and I immediately felt comfortable on this track. My Kawasaki got me out of the gate well in both races and I won the first race after an exciting battle with Gautier Paulin. I was sitting comfortably in second place in the second moto and was optimistic that I could win that race too, but a rock hit me on the nose a few laps from the end; blood was streaming down my face so I decided it was wiser to settle for second place as this would secure the overall GP win. We're a young team and it's great to win already at our third GP to confirm the potential we showed in Bulgaria."
Pourcel showed good speed in Round 2 in Bulgaria and his battle with Gautier Paulin gave the Bulgarian people a lot to enjoy.
"I knew that I had to get back on the box here after my bad weekend in the Netherlands. We made some changes to the settings of the bike since then as it was actually too powerful for me and I couldn't give my all. And it worked. I got two great starts and was soon able to build a gap in the first race, but Gautier surprised me in the second race. He was quickly five seconds ahead and we had the same speed so I couldn't catch him, but this is a great result for Team CP377."
While Rounds 2 and 3 were good news for Pourcel the opening round in Valkenswaard, Holland wasn't that impressive. Some members of the team had mentioned that Pourcel didn't seem interested in getting the bike set-up for the deep sand. Pourcel admitted that himself after scoring poor results.
"I haven't ridden tracks like that for a long time and I didn't feel comfortable in the first race. We changed some settings for the second race and I got the holeshot. I was looking for a top five finish but a lapper came across me and spoilt my race. It wasn't the great start of the season, but I knew when I got to Bulgaria and Italy I would be okay."