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Marc Quentin Prugnieres - Leatt

Marc Quentin Prugnieres - Leatt

May 22

  • Interview

At the back end of the 2023 season, the F&H Racing team announced the agreement with 19-year-old Marc Quentin Prugnieres. The talented Frenchman was in the top three in several rounds of the EMX250 Championship last year and eventually finished sixth in the final standings.

Prugnieres has shown glimpse of what he is capable of in 2024, often battling around the top ten, but being his rookie season, no doubt mistakes, nerves, inexperience all play a major part in the growth of a young motocross rider. Not everyone is Jett Lawrence or Jorge Prado and being a regular top ten or top five guy takes time, effort and most important, experience.

This talented young Frenchman is a well spoken and confident young man, and I think many in the know in the sport see him bursting into the top ten on a regular basis in 2024 and in the near future.

Running currently 11th in the MX2 championship points and with pretty much only factory riders ahead of him, it’s been a solid first seven rounds for the French rider, but he isn’t nearly satisfied and that is no doubt a good thing, because the potential is clearly there. We were lucky enough to catch up with the F&H Kawasaki rider and were impressed with his focus and even more by his English, with a touch of the Sheffield accent included.

MXLarge: There have been some really good results, you name keeps popping up in the top ten in the MX2 class, can you explain how you feel about your season so far?

Prugnieres: Actually, my season hasn’t been as good as I wanted. I got some decent results in France and Portugal also in Spain in the one at Lugo, but otherwise, it wasn’t so good, a few crashes, sometimes my riding wasn’t that good. I have also been struggling with my starts from the beginning of the season. It is just going step by step, I am learning, and I am young and stuff, so it is an evolution, time to put all the pieces together. For the moment, not all the pieces are together yet, so for now, these are the results we have.

MXLarge: Yes, starts seeming really important now, because both MXGP and MX2 are stacked with really talented riders, even in MXGP you see guys like Herlings or Prado having difficulties coming through, and MX2 is maybe even tougher. De Wolf can come through the pack, but have you had a race where you come through the pack?

Prugnieres: Yes, actually, all my races have been outside the pack. All weekend in France I was starting outside the top 20, every time (he would eventually finished with 8-10 in France). It is like a big comeback, passing a lot of people. It is possible, but you really need to have the rhythm from the front guys. Guys like de Wolf, they have experience, they have that speed, and I am new in the MX2 class, so I still need to know how they ride in the front. Until now, I haven’t spent a full moto with the top guys.

MXLarge: For a fan like me, I watch you coming into the top ten and I see you riding, and I think, this kid is pretty good. I can see you have the potential, but what did you expect coming into the season?

Prugnieres: I expected to be more inside the top ten and I have been outside the top ten because of my riding, because of my starts. I have to work a lot on these things. I need to do it in the weekends, because at training, I can put some really good riding in. Sometimes, in the races, it is hard to put the pieces together.

MXLarge: When you first came into the class, at the start of the season, were you surprised by the speed of the class?

Prugnieres: Yes, I was surprised. I was not surprised of the speed by itself, but I was surprised that the whole field has a similar speed, it is really compact. I was really impressed that everyone is that fast. I knew some riders would be fast, but I never expected so many to be that fast.

MXLarge: Sportsmen often say that sport is 70% mental, and 30% talent. Now you are clearly a very good rider, a good technique, a good background coming through the EMX system, so I think a lot of people expect you to eventually make it in the MX2 class, but that mental side, because you are inexperienced, that must be really tough to get through that when results are down?

Prugnieres: Yes, mentally it is difficult, really difficult, because you come from the EMX and you are used to being at the top, the speed of the top guys, you finish top three, top five and then you show up in the MX2 class and you might be 1.10th slower, you can lose almost 10 positions in the field. That isn’t easy, because sometimes you feel like you are fast, then you are slow. Sometimes what you do isn’t enough, and you always do more and more than you might usually do. You know, when you haven’t experienced this before, and everyone is pushing from the very first lap until the last lap. It is tough from EMX to MX2, a really big step.

MXLarge: I remember doing an interview with Stefan Everts, many years ago, and he said his first Grand Prix, he was lapped by the then World champion (Trampas Parker). He felt at the time he would never make it and we all know how he ended up. Do you have somebody who reminds you that many riders go through what you are going through now. Marc (De Reuver) I guess would do that?

Prugnieres: Yes, Marc helps a lot. He tells me, he tells me and everyone in the paddock tells me. It isn’t a joke the MX2 class, they are not joking around here. MX2 is the real category, maybe even more than the MXGP class. There are no places for crashes, mistakes, bad starts, there is no place for this in this class. No room for error, just results and that is tough. The only thing people expect from you in the MX2 class are results.

MXLarge: Are you learning those expectations, the speed, or making less mistakes. Do you feel like you learn after these first seven Grand Prix’s?

Prugnieres: Yes, I become used to it, like you get used to the pressure and fighting all the time, it becomes normal. Maybe at the end of the season, or next year, I tell you I don’t feel the pressure, or the speed and it is normal for me. We are here every weekend, we are having one weekend off, but not more and you kind of get used to it and experience helps. We are young and learn fast, and still, if you are used to it, it is difficult to handle sometimes.

MXLarge: For a 19-year-old, you speak very well, and your English is very good, but also you seem to be a thinker, and that is good in not only racing, but in life. You seem to understand well a situation. Have you been told that, that you are a good thinker?

Prugnieres: Yes, but I mean, I say stuff, because I speak a lot with people, with my trainer and stuff and I don’t have a lot of experience, but I listen a lot to the coach and what people are saying and I always say the situation, but people to mention that to me. I learnt English from a friend. I don’t like the French accent. I like the Sheffield accent.

MXlarge: Last question, Leatt, they have a bunch of really nice athletes in the MXGP and MX2 class and they are a great supporter of the sport in general, but for a rider like yourself. How is it working with them and also working with Jamie, who does a lot for his supported riders?

Prugnieres: Yes, working with Leatt is great. They made some special gear for me for my home Grand Prix in France, really cool looking designs. We put some work in, sharing information together about the goggles and we also with the different gear. Working with Jamie and Leatt has been good, and they help a lot and without them, the sport would not exist. Jamie is very professional and a great help on the weekend.

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