OK, I made it to the world famous Paris-Bercy supercross. I won’t bore you with the travel details of getting here … like the plane flight full of people that had ‘whooping cough’ … or the extra day I spent on the train because of all the ‘obstructions’.
The fact is I’m here. And even though the racing hasn’t started, Bercy has something very special. Atmosphere! It’s electric! The Palais Omni Sport de Bercy arena is right in the middle of one of the most vibrant cities in the world – Paris. And it is going on in Paris!
The crowd has assembled outside the arena and they are ‘pumped’. People are chanting and singing, fireworks are going off, flags are waving … and the race hasn’t even started! And the fans are not even in the arena yet!
Tony Cairoli’s girlfriend Jill with her friend Mathilde
This event has quite a history of ‘Champions’. The winner of this event is crowned “King of Bercy”. Here’s a rundown of the past Kings of Bercy, which literally reads like a “who’s who” of supercross.
1984 1 – David Bailey
1984 2 – Johnny O’Mara
1985 – Johnny O’Mara
1986 – David Bailey
1987 – Rick Johnson
1988 – Jeff Ward
1989 – Rick Johnson
1990 – Jean-Michel Bayle
1991 – Jean-Michel Bayle
1992 – Jeff Stanton
1993 – Jeremy McGrath
1994 – Mike LaRocco
1995 – Jeremy McGrath
1996 – Ryan Hughes
1997 – Jeff Emig
1998 – Larry Ward
1999 – David Vuillemin
2000 – David Vuillemin
2001 – David Vuillemin
2002 – Grant Langston
2003 – David Vuillemin
2004 – Andrew Short
2005 – Andrew Short
2006 – Christophe Pourcel
2007 – Chad Reed
2008 – James Stewart
2009 – Justin Brayton
The evening’s activities started with a press conference including Justin Barcia, World MX1 Champion Tony Cairoli, multi time champion Grant Langston, and World MX2 Champ Marvin Musquin.
Special shout out to Michelle! Wish you were here! : )
In the press conference before the start of Day 1, multi time champion Grant Langston explained that this is indeed, his last professional race. He talked about how one eye suffers about 50% vision loss from a previous cancer, and also possibly hereditary/diabetes issues, and most like will lose all vision in at least that one eye. He said it affects him most when riding outdoors, which he always felt was his ‘strong suit’ in racing.
Grant speaks very well. He is very composed and calm, in dealing with something that is affecting his life dramatically. I applaud Grant for his openness, composure, and wisdom.
It’s a unique venue. In the middle of one of the largest, most dynamic cities in the world – Paris. The arena – the Palais Omnisport de Bercy, is almost ‘space age’ looking on the outside, with a glass, concrete, and metal outside structure, and steep grass covered ‘walls’.
Once inside the arena – one thing is very clear – it is loud! The music is energetic and … loud! The fans are energetic … and loud! And the show hasn’t even started yet! Air horns are blowing, fans bring in small two stroke motors and rev them until they are just about to explode – it is crazy!
And obviously, being in France, the ‘home’ riders are obviously the fan favorites. But no matter – they cheer for everyone – from first to last!
The track itself actually goes ‘outside’ of the arena, or at least outside of the viewing area of the spectators, for about 10 seconds.
But back to what is the biggest thing you notice, as I did, when coming to Bercy for the first time – the atmosphere! It’s electric! It’s a party – French style! With supercross mixed in! The French fans, not only loud, but enthusiastically cheer every competitor!
This is a three day event. So expect to see more photos, more writing, and video coming, ASAP.
Eric Peronnard is … well … Supercross.com will be having an interview coming online shortly with Eric, so you can learn more about some of the things he’s done … invented the US Open, Endurocross, Mini Moto Supercross, and has been involved in the Bercy Paris Supercross from the beginning.
Eric is here at the Bercy Paris Supercross this first night. However, he told me he is flying out first thing in the morning to get to Las Vegas to oversee the final round of the 2010 AMA Endurocross series! Go Eric go!
Another aspect of the show tonight – Le Legendes de Bercy! A chance for many of the famous names of Bercy’s past to ride and ‘race’ in front of the fans. It wasn’t actually a ‘race’, more of riders showcasing their talents for the fans, and to bring back memories of year’s past. One of the fan favorites, who donned a suit while riding around the track – French legend Jean-Michel Bayle, riding on the number 8 Honda of his dominant 1991 year in the USA. JMB was also doing color commentary for TV.
Two time world motocross champion Sebastien Tortelli, multi time world MX champ Mickael Pichon, David Vuillemin, and many others came out for the Legendes.
There was some exciting racing in SuperPole – events where half the field is eliminated in each race. The first race was won by number 17, American Justin Barcia. On the last lap of this race, Gautier Paulin made a pass in a tight left hand corner, and finished in second place.
Next SuperPole, with now only 8 riders racing, saw Gautier Paulin leading from the start, and Justin Barcia had moved into second quickly. That’s how they finished as well. Paulin first, Barcia second.
The next race – only four riders remaining – Gautier Paulin won this race, with Barcia second!
There was a Freestyle MX exhibition, which the fans went crazy over.
And finally, there was the Final – the Main Event! Justin Barcia led from the start, and never looked back. He was the decisive winner of Day 1. Second went to ‘hometown’ racer, Marvin Musquin.
And after Friday night’s main event, the top ten:
- Justin Barcia
- Marvin Musquin
- Kyle Chisholm
- Cedric Soubeyras
- Chris Martin
- Fabien Izoird
- Tony Cairoli
- Arnaud Tonus
- Ryan Morais
- Ken de Dycker
2 more nights of racing to determine who will be King of Bercy 2010!
Thank you to everyone at the Lariviere Organisation
p.s. Tomorrow I’ll be getting some ear plugs! : )
Stanley presented World MX 2 Champion Marvin Musquin with a new, limited edition photo book
Justin Barcia sitting at press conference with Champions: Marvin Musquin, Grant Langston and Tony Cairoli
Justin Barcia won Friday’s Main event, with World Motocross Champion Marvin Musquin coming in second, and Kyle Chisholm finishing in third.
Opening press conference video with Marvin Musquin, Grant Langston, Tony Cairoli, and Justin Barcia
The Palais Omnisport de Bercy arena
MX 2 Champion Marvin Musquin
World MX 1 Champion Antonio Cairoli
Inside Palais Omnisport de Bercy arena
Legendary French racer Jean-Michel Bayle
Justin Barcia on podium with Marvin Musquin and Kyle Chisholm
250 World Motocross Champion from France – Marvin Musquin!
Justin Barcia smoked ’em all on Friday night in Paris!