“You wanna ride? Or you want an excuse ?” Julien Lecreux, supermotard without compromise

posted on 09/25/2020

Villars sous Écot racetrack, Friday, September 11, 2020.

Only a few days after the final of the 2020 French championship on this same track, the contrast is relaxing. The buzzing paddock and the hectic schedule have given way to a much more relaxed atmosphere, with good late summer weather making everyone feel good.

I’m gearing up for a weekend of racing in a region Championship with Julien Lecreux.  It’s an opportunity to take a few photos together, and also a look back over a good number of years in supermoto racing for the 38-year-old rider from Ain, in France.

Sensitive souls, a word of advice. Julien doesn’t mince his words. His sense of humor is sometimes biting. He has a pronounced taste for direct questions that may take people by surprise, and for clear-cut opinions. When you get to know him, you also know that it’s for the right reasons.

Julien has been a supermoto enthusiast for many years, and is a fully committed amateur (in the sense that he earns no income from it). He is an enthusiastic defender of a certain idea of the discipline: only results count, not excuses. He is uncompromising with himself, and also with others. Everyone must be equal before the rules of competition.

He also acknowledges that over the years, his point of view has evolved on certain aspects. After many seasons riding 450s, he now rides a Yamaha YZ 125 2T. Still, he has clocked times that tease the top 10 of the France Challenger trophy. He has lost none of his fighting spirit, even though he admits with a touch of humour that “his international career is behind him”.

GCR Trophy, Rivesaltes, 14 July 2012

Julien did his first laps on a track in 2005, starting with go-karting. As the track also welcomed supermotos, he quickly switched from four to two wheels. He really got into the discipline from 2008. He began with races close to home, first in the French Open Championship (lower level), then in the French Prestige Championship at Saint-Laurent-de-Mure.

At the beginning, he didn’t ride a full season. In 2013, he took a break away from the French Championship and rode in a regional championship in Italy, and some races of the Swiss championship. He was riding in 450 then.

French Championship, Le Castellet race, 29 August 2014

In 2014, Julien is back for a full season on the French Championship, in the Challenger class. During the Alpe d’Huez race, he crashed and suffered a hand injury. In order to be able to ride in the next event, he chooses to have half of his little finger amputated, hence his nickname “Nine and a Half”.

French Championship, Magny-Cours race, 3 July 2015

Julien also rides a lot in motocross for training. He is an enthusiast for the most technical dirt parts, including in supermoto. For him, the 125 came naturally, because he had one for motocross training, in addition to the 450.

Julien: “In the end, I only wanted to take the 125. It’s really fun compared to the 4-stroke, you focus on the little details that help you go faster, it’s technically much more interesting. I didn’t even want to ride a 4-stroke anymore. A 125 category on the Swiss motocross regional was created, and I entered the whole championship. For me it was the confirmation, I had reached a turning point.”

French Championship, l’Alpe d’Huez race, 7 August 2016

Equipped at home to transform his 125 motocross into a supermoto, he gave it a try in the S3 category in the French Championship. For him, the results were conclusive. He recognizes that he now understands the statements of Adrien Goguet who defended small engines (article in French), which was not the case at the time.

17″ Days, Motorland Aragon, Spain, 26 October 2016

Without talking about a major track record, Julien has some fine feats of arms to his credit. In the French Championship, he has been regularly qualified for the Trophée de France Challenger over the years, with a few good places, heat victories and holeshots. In 2018, he finished seventh in the category. In 2017, he took the title of Swiss Champion in Open Promo.

Today, he is still attracted by performance and pushing his limits. He dislikes the idea of staying in his comfort zone. For him, taking part in races is also the way to ride in the best conditions, especially for the off-road sections. It is above all a pleasure, and even if the podiums are not a primary motivation, it is a nice recognition of his hard work during training.

Holeshot, Trophée de France Challenger, Circuit de Bresse, 15 avril 2018

Time for the series of pictures of the Bourgogne Franche Comté League event in Villars sous Écot. A weekend that combines performance and pleasure, during which Julien yields nothing to many riders in 250, and finishes second in both races of his category.

About the Author

Based in Toulouse (France), Steph Legrand has specialized in supermoto photography since 2010. He offers photography and communication services to companies and individuals.

Do not hesitate to contact him for all your photo needs.

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