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BMW Motorrad Motorsport

Munich, Germany, 22/06/2016, Superbike IDM / International German Championship

Title contender addicted to motorbikes

An interview with IDM front-runner Mathieu Gines

He came, he saw, he conquered: This idiom fits Mathieu Gines perfectly. The Frenchman is contesting his first season in Werner Daemen’s Van Zon-Remeha-BMW team in the Superbike IDM / International German Championship (IDM). He has picked up wins and fastest laps on the BMW S 1000 RR since the first race. After three of eight race weekends, the 27-year-old leads the championship standings by 15 points.

The Frenchman has set his sights on his second IDM title: After winning the Superstock class in 2015, he could be crowned champion of the elite Superbike class this year. But Gines is not only successful over “short distances”, but also over long distances. He celebrated his biggest success to date in that category two years ago when he became world champion. He also contests endurance races with the BMW S 1000 RR for the Penz13.com – BMW Motorrad team in 2016. At the 24 Hours of Le Mans, he and his team-mates Kenny Foray and Lukáš Pešek caused a stir when they clinched pole position ahead of all of the established works teams.

Gines shares more information about himself in an interview. And reveals that everything in his life revolves around motorbikes – even in his profession as a customs officer.

Successful debut season on the RR

Question: “You were fast on the BMW S 1000 RR right from the start. How comfortable do you feel on the bike?”

Mathieu Gines: “I get on brilliantly with the bike. I took a five-month break over winter and didn’t go near a motorbike. Then at the first test in Spain, I immediately felt comfortable on the BMW S 1000 RR. It is really easy to be fast from the start on this motorbike. Naturally, you have to work really hard to get that last tenth of a second. But I feel right at home on this machine.”

Question: “You also seem to have settled into Werner Daemen’s team very quickly?”

Gines: “Yes. We have three Superstock riders in the team, Marco Nekvasil, Pepijn Bijsterbosch and Jan Bühn, and me as the Superbike rider. But we are all equals and have the same opportunities. That is great. I like the team, it is fantastic here.”

Question: “You are the team’s successor to Markus Reiterberger, who had an outstanding season last year. Have you felt a certain amount of pressure of the expectation that you need to have a similar amount of success?”

Gines: “This Superbike is new to me. I had never ridden on it before, and I still have to learn. Of course I am riding to win, but we have to work hard for that. There isn’t much pressure. I do my best, the team works well with me and is always helping me to ride faster. That’s great. We’ll see where that leads to at the end of the season, but we always do our best.”

“A big, wonderful family”

Question: “How important is the support from BMW Motorrad and HP Race Support to you?”

Gines: “The support is fantastic and is a great help to us – it helps all BMW riders. And the BMW Motorrad Race Trophy is brilliant. It is a big, wonderful family of riders from so many different countries. I really like that.”

Question: “Are you in contact with other BMW racers from other series?”

Gines: “Yes, Kenny Foray, my previous – and current – team-mate in the endurance world championship, rides in the French Superbike championship, also on the BMW S 1000 RR. It is also his first season on the bike. It’s great because we are very close friends and can talk about our experiences with the bike and about how the RR is different from our previous bike.”

Question: “When did you start racing, and in which series did you compete?”

Gines: “I started in the French 125 category championship in 2003. I won that title in 2005. At the end of the 2005 season, I also contested a few races in the 250 cc world championship. That was great, I rode against people like Casey Stoner, Dani Pedrosa and Jorge Lorenzo. But I didn’t have the required budget, so switched to the Superstock 600 European Championship in 2006. I was plagued by injuries and it was a difficult time. Then I returned to France in 2008, where I rode in the national Supersport and Superbike championship until last year. I started competing in endurance racing at the same time. I won the title in the Superstock class of the endurance world championship in 2011, and then I was endurance world champion on the GMT 94 Superbike in 2014.”

“I live for motorbikes”

Question: “Are you addicted to racing, and is motorsport also the main focus of your private life?”

Gines: “Yes, definitely. I live for bikes. I think about them when I wake up in the morning. In my ‘normal life’ I work as a motorbike officer for French customs. I was looking for a profession that was compatible with my passion for bikes and so I applied for the custom’s motorcycle squad. So I ride a motorbike every day, that is my lifestyle.”

Question: “What do you do at the racetrack in the evenings to switch off and recover?”

Gines: “I just do my job. I prepare my helmet, discuss the strategy with my team and always want to do my best. I really enjoy it, which is why I don’t need to recover. I love what I do.”

Question: “Do you have any interests or hobbies that have absolutely nothing to do with racing?”

Gines: “That’s difficult. My hobbies include riding motocross and suchlike. I enjoy life with my friends and my family. That’s what I do when I’m not sat on a motorbike; I try to spend time with my friends. That’s really important to me.”

Question: “How would your best friend describe you?”

Gines: “He would say that I am a very busy person who is always doing something and travelling, who never stops. I come from France and still contest some endurance races, do a few things for BMW Motorrad France, and so on. I am always on the go and never stand still.”

Question: “What goals have you set for the immediate future?”

Gines: “My current dream is to win a few titles in the Superbike IDM. I’d also like to win a 24-hour race. That is currently my biggest goal in terms of endurance racing.”