Interview: Stephane Roncada
Supercross.com: Tell us a little bit about yourself ….
Stephane Roncada: I’m 21 years old. I’m originally from Chambery, France. I haven’t seen anywhere like it yet in the States. It’s at the base of a mountain, with many pine trees. The first time I got on a bike I was four years old. My first race was in 1984 …. I was five years old. And then when I was about 10 years old I had my first thoughts of coming to race in the USA. When I first came to the United States, I ended up in Corona, California. But now I live a little bit south of there in Temecula, California.
SC: What do you love most about motocross and racing?
SR: The traveling is cool, and so is meeting many, many people. All the fans are great too. Racing is what I like and I enjoy doing it so much. It’s my life.
SC: What does it mean to win the 125 outdoor championship?
SR: It means a lot to me. It means a lot because of everything I’ve been thru. I’ve had ‘arm pump’ problems in the past, and I had a surgery that I was unsure of. I was worried that I would still have arm pump problems even after the surgery. Now I don’t have any arm pump problems and I’ve been able to win. The very first time I got on the bike after the surgery I didn’t have arm pump, and I was pretty happy. I had the surgery done in Switzerland during the past off season.
SC: We have many people that write us and ask about the surgery you had. What should we tell them about it?
SR: I think the best thing to do would be to direct them to the message boards on my web-site. There they can post a message, and with the help of my trainer, we might be able to provide some information.
SC: Tell us all about your web-site.
SR: Yes, I have my own web-site. It’s at http://www.ronronmx.com I started it around the first of this year. I put about 80% of my free time into it. I put a lot of time into it, and I’m always trying to make it better. I’ll be making some modifications to it soon, making it look better, easier to navigate and run faster. I try to update it at least every day. Right now I have four message boards going on, along with many other things. I’m not a ‘natural’ on the computer, so I’m just learning. I have one laptop, and two desktop computers, but I need to get more powerful ones to do my work in the future.
SC: Your thoughts on the upcoming Motocross des Nations. Is there added pressure because it’s in France?
SR: Well, I am on French team. I hope for our team to do well, but there is no added pressure because the race is in France. I have ridden on that race track before (St. Jean D’Angely), and it’s a very good track.
SC: Who were your motocross heroes when you were growing up?
SR: There were three riders that I looked up to while I was growing up: J. M. Bayle, David Bailey, and Ricky Johnson. They were the very best in that time.
SC: Do you have a favorite track?
In the United States, I like most tracks. I like the last two tracks in the Nationals series, Binghamton and Steel City maybe a bit more than others.
SC: Is there anything you would like to see changed about professional motocross today?
SR: Well, there are many things that many of us would like changed. But I can see everyone’s different perspective on things. On the promoting side, I would like to see more money for all the riders. The last place guy in a freestyle event can make more than first place at a motocross. I like freestyle, and I’m all for them getting those monies, but I think it’s pathetic that prize money in motocross racing is not more. At the same time, promoters have to spend a lot of money, and put out a lot of money to put on the events too.
Another thing I would like to see changed is the practice time in outdoor motocross. It’s 15 minutes each session. This is really a short time. I believe we need more time for testing and practicing. What if a rider gets a flat tire in practice? There is not even enough time to change the tire and then go back out to practice. The mechanics are at the track all day long on Saturday, and two fifteen minute sessions in not enough in my opinion.
SC: What do you think about the GP’s going to a one moto format?
SR: As a rider, I don’t like it. You come all that way for the race that weekend, and you only have one race, so if you have a problem in that one race you are out of luck. However, it could be good for the media, and it will definitely be good for television.
SC: What about some of your competitors in the 125 class, tell us what you think:
SR: Travis Pastrana: Impressive. Especially for his age. He is really strong, and everyone thought he would make more mistakes as a rookie, but he has done very well.
Tallon Vohland: Everyone thought he might be stronger this year. I’m not sure what’s going on there with him, so I cannot say too much since I don’t really know.
Brock Sellards: We had some good races in the supercross events, but I thought that he would be stronger in the outdoor.
Steve Lamson: I was impressed with the first part of his season, since he has not been racing too much in the past year. After the Sacramento event, he hasn’t been as strong, and hasn’t been as much of a threat though.
SC: Will you defend your 125 East supercross title in 2001?
SR: No. I will not. But I’m very excited. I will be moving up to the 250 class. I am negotiating now with many companies, and nothing is official, but it’s looking like I will go ‘green’ in 2001. (Hint: check out his web-site)
SC: Do you have a girlfriend?
SR: Yes, I do. Her name is Chloe. She’s a very nice person. She’s very smart, she’s happy, and she does so much for me. She takes care of me, and helps take a great deal of pressure off of me. I’ve known her for a long time and we have a very good relationship. And it’s even more of a great thing for me since all my family is in France.
SC: What would you like to tell kids that want to be a professional racer like you?
SR: Maybe I’m not the best guy for advice! (Laughs) Seriously, the best advice that I can give is ‘Always believe in your dreams’. I used to dream to do exactly what I am doing right now, which is racing motocross. Believe in your dreams!
And of course, keep up the training! (Laughs) You can start training early, and racing early, but you must keep a balance in life. Especially when you are young, motorcycles can be important in your life, but not the only thing in your life.
Photos by Mr. Frank Hoppen