Cedric Soubeyras Explains How He Wound Up Stranded in Seattle
When French-native Cedric Soubeyras traveled to the United States at the start of the season, he planned to only race the first few rounds of the 2018 Monster Energy Supercross Series before returning to Europe. However, when Josh Hansen and Matt Bisceglia both suffered injuries, the Team LVN100/Nut Up/Perry Concepts/Suzuki team reached out to Soubeyras and offered him a ride. He accepted their offer and extended his stay here in America. Since then, he's consistently put himself into main events each weekend and had logged his best finish, a 14th place, at Indianapolis two weeks before arriving in Seattle. That's when things came unraveled and on Friday evening we received some news stating that the H.E.P. Motorsports/FXR/Suzuki team had picked up Soubeyras for the weekend.
Explain to me how this whole weekend went from your perspective.
When I got on the airplane, everything was fine and I was on my way here. I was supposed to ride for the team of Hansen and when I landed I got the news that I didn't have a bike anymore and the rig was heading home to California. I had nothing to do here. In the time I was on the plane, Stephane from Le Big USA made things happen and he was talking with the H.E.P. team. They found a frame with JGR and built a bike in a short time frame that I can ride today. It is a miracle for me and I still cannot believe. I cannot thank them enough already and I want to thank them my way by doing my absolute best.
So, you literally stepped off the plane in Seattle and found out?
Yeah, I got off the plane and it was like, "Okay, the rig has left, but all of my parts, my clothes, everything is in there too." Even if I had the bike, what can I do? I have nothing. Luckily, I had my knee braces and one spare helmet. I even texted my manager and said, "Is this a joke? Tell me what's going on." He said he didn't know and that he was in the airport leaving. It was a big nightmare, but thankfully H.E.P. and Le Big and JGR and everyone from Suzuki did an amazing job to deliver a bike to me in one piece. I can't believe that.
Do you know much as far as what happened with the team and why they left?
The official reason and the only thing I know is that they couldn't put the rig inside and that pissed them off, so they decided to go back home. When you have a rider, you have to tell him. If Le Big doesn't tell me anything, I would come here and be looking for the rig everywhere because I didn't know. There was no text from anyone and that got me a little upset, you know? I'm really motivated to show my best, but now for the future, I don't know what's going on. I was supposed to go back home on the first of February, but Josh [Hansen] told me that we could continue at least until Salt Lake City. Now, I don't know.
At the moment there's no plan to continue anything here at H.E.P. right now?
At the moment, no. I have my training bike, which is the one from Suzuki USA that I'm using with my parts. I can still ride and train, but I trained so hard with Marvin [Musquin] and brought my fitness up over the last few weeks staying at his home. Everything is perfect, I just need someone with me for these last few races.
Looking past everything going on right now, if you're able to continue racing, what are your hopes for these last few rounds?
I came here with the goal to do the most main events that I could. It's so much different than what we have in Europe. The races are longer. I had to train a different way and I knew the first races were going to be very difficult for me. I've got my first top fifteen finishes in the U.S. championship now. I've also stayed on my bike. Many guys have made mistakes, especially when it was rutty, and I've kept good rhythms. I keep working because if I can show something then maybe I can make my future better for 2019. I want to try my best to be here all season and do the whole championship in 2019.