Mathias congratulations on winning your first Enduro World Championship title. How does it feel to be a world champion?
Mathias Bellino: "Incredible! It was my goal since the beginning of the season but also my dream. To win the title is also great for all those around me and all those who have helped me. This is a big step for my career.”
It’s been an astonishing season for you winning both the Enduro Junior World Championship and the Junior World Trophy team with France. Where you surprised by your success?
M.B: "I think every rider has good years and years without success during their career. 2012 season was very kind to me. A world Championship title is above all a lot of work, you must also be well supported, but I must admit that there is a great deal of luck. Since the first Grand Prix in Chile I knew I had the speed to win the title, but I had to make it a reality and that's what I did. Three titles in the same year, and in such a short period of time, it's great."
You’ve only been racing enduro for two seasons yet your progress has been impressive!
M.B: "Yes, things have gone very well for me. Arriving in enduro, I knew nothing. I really didn’t know what to expect. I did not even know who Mika Ahola was! Then, when I started my first EWC race in Spain, I finished second. Thereafter I had some difficult races with crashes, injuries, and especially penalties. The 2011 season was one of learning and it allowed me to not make the same mistake this year!”
Bellino has a solid background in motocross, but his mother was a French enduro champion too... © Lynn / Enduro21.com
Why did you choose to leave motocross, when you were considered a future talent?
M.B: "In the youth categories I was ahead of a lot of the top guys and was looking towards GP’s but I broke three vertebrae in 2007 and that stopped me. I took some time to recover – more than six months – but still suffered with back pain in ’08 and ’09. In 2010 I was the youngest rider in the MX1 class and finished as runner-up to Xavier Boog in the French championship but if you’re not called Roczen or Herlings you must pay to ride in motocross. I think I could finish top 10 in MX1. But I preferred to stop and go on to enduro at the age of 19 years, I had to seriously think about my future!”
You are often seen as the excitable young French rider within the calm, Swedish Husaberg team – how does that work out?
M.B: "I like to laugh and have fun. With the Husaberg team, it's going pretty well. I think they are happy that I am riding for them. When we eat together we make a "French table" and another "Swedish table", there are less French people in the team than Swedish, yet we make a lot more noise! I have a good team, with great support, with a fantastic bike plus my manager Thomas Gustavsson does not put any pressure on me for results. On top of that, I think I make him laugh a lot”
What areas of your riding do you still need to work on?
M.B: "I have a good all-round base, but I'm still far behind Nambotin, Meo or Renet in the enduro tests. Everyone knows that races are won on the enduro tests and not the motocross tests. And to be good at this kind of special, it takes a lot of feeling and experience.”
With the Junior title secured, next season he'll enter the Senior ranks... © Lynn / Enduro21.com
Does the SuperEnduro World Championship interest you?
M.B: "Of course! This discipline is a good compromise with supercross. I have learned that there will be a Junior class and that the tracks are less like trial and much more rapid and dramatic, so I'm really interested.”
Let’s talk about next season, is it true that you will compete in the Enduro 3 class?
M.B: "Next year I'll enter in the senior category because the Junior World Champion cannot defend his title. As yet we have not decided with Husaberg but each category has excellent riders so one of my goals will be to compete with them.”
How do you plan to celebrate your world championship?
M.B: "It has already started! We did some parties after I won the French junior Championship. And that increased with the success at the ISDE. In any case, I look forward to seeing you the supporters in France for the World Championship in Brignoles to celebrate all these titles!”