By Danny Brault
Photos by James Lissimore.
A rising talent out of the province of Quebec, Jean-Christophe Bujold is preparing for his Pro debut in 2015. After winning this year’s MX2 Intermediate championship at the Parts Canada Walton TransCan, Bujold (or “JCB” as I think that sounds cool, kind of like ‘JSR’) has proven he is one of the fastest Canadians about to join the pro ranks.
However, because he’s only 15-years-old and has only been on big bikes for two years, JC and his family are being patient and will continue to race as an Intermediate next summer, while also competing in Eastern rounds of the Rockstar Energy Drink Motocross Nationals. That could be a wise call; there is no rush and if you can ride both Intermediate and Pro for another year, why not? Nobody has yet to toss a bunch of dollars and bikes at JC, but with a good start and raw speed shown during a national next year, that could be all it takes to catch the eye of a race team manager.
We caught up with JC, who’s last race was at the Vurb Classic in Maine where he finished top five in the B class against some ‘hired guns.’ He’s now taking a break at his home in Saint-Hubert, he’s back to school and getting mentally and physically ready for another season of motocross.
MXP: Hello, JC, how are you?
Jean-Christophe Bujold: Good, and you?
Not bad. Your dad says you’re watching some Hawaii 5-0. Is that your favourite show?
Not my favourite but it’s a good one.
No hockey game on tonight?
Not right now. I don’t like hockey too much.
Other than racing motocross, do you play other sports?
I played football for a couple of years and some BMX. I like other sports, but I focus on motocross. I do also ride a lot Snowscoot on ski hills, it’s like a BMX , with planks instead of wheels. It’s fun and you can be stylish.
Have you been on the bike much? When was your last race?
We raced a couple of races in Quebec, and then we did the Vurb Classic in Maine.
How did you finish?
I almost won one class. I rode the B class and there were some hired guns: Stone Hedler from Georgia and Justin Cooper. Hedler won College Boys at Loretta Lynn’s. He’s a bit older than me. They had to pass me to beat me for the win. I finished top five there. I had a 30th position which hurt me, but I still got fifth overall.
Are you happy with that?
If I didn’t have bad luck, I think I could have won the overall.
When is your next race?
I don’t know really. We went to the Mini Oympics last year but not this year. Since January, we went to Tennessee three times and we’ve spent a lot of time in the States. We’re taking a break and then we’ll get things going again in March.
Do you feel racing in the US helps to make you a better rider?
Yeah, because I race with a couple of fast guys. In Quebec they are fast but not that fast. It helps to learn better lines and new tricks on the track. When you can practice a little bit before the season, you can come in much more prepared.
Our plan is to spend ten days in March in Georgia. Last year we went to GPF; we’ll see if Josh Woods will have us back, but I’m pretty sure he’ll have us. We’re looking at Moto X Compound, Matt Walker’s place. In early April we will also go down and practice again, then race some Loretta Lynn qualifiers. These will be used as practice, but we won’t be doing the regional or Loretta’s. I’m concentrating on Quebec championships, amateur nationals and the eastern pro nationals. I feel that I am in good shape, I ride a lot of BMX, so I will keep that going all winter and work on my endurance for the pro national motos. I find the BMX to be a good cross-over sport for motocross. It’s fun and keeps me in shape.
How did you get into dirt bikes?
My Dad was riding a little bit of enduro and then I got into riding. I remember my first race; the deal was that I had to ride a bicycle without training wheels then I could get a dirt bike. I was 4 years old. Two weeks after riding my BMX I was riding my PW50 in the backyard.
Which do you prefer, motocross or BMX?
My motocross bike. BMX is more of a hobby for me. When I was young, I was going to BMX and motocross races and my parents gave me the choice and I chose motocross. I started taking it more serious in 65s and started thinking about it on the track and always wanted to get better.
Who do you normally ride with?
I practice alone but sometimes with friends. I try to do lap times and ride long motos for good endurance.
Do you feel more comfortable on a 250 or the bigger 450?
It depends on the track. At Walton, I really like the 450. On other tracks, I ride better on the 250.
Best track that you’ve ridden in Canada?
Walton is my favourite track.
Have you raced any pro races yet?
No pro races yet. In Quebec, I race the Pro Am class with Pros and Intermediates on Saturdays. So I can race against Tim Tremblay, Kaven Benoit and other guys.
There are many great riders to come from Quebec. Is there a rider you looked up to?
JSR (Jean-Sebastien Roy) is one of favourite. When I was younger, I looked up to him and took some lessons from him and it went well.
Are you happy with your riding and results in 2014?
In Quebec, we had some bad luck but Walton went really well. My bikes worked good and I had good races. I had a DNF in one MX1 Intermediate moto, but I could have won more. Highlight of the summer is Walton, but a 10th place a Loretta Lynn with a 2-2-35 finish in 250c mod class is a great feeling!
At Walton, you were racing a YZ450F and a RM-Z250. Why two different brands?
At the last race in Quebec, we tried a couple of bikes for 2015. It’s easy for me to change between bikes. Going back between brands is not a problem. I feel that I am very versatile. With the 450 Yamaha at Walton, we don’t own a 450, because for Loretta’s we needed to have two 250fs. Francois Mireault
loaned us his YZ450 for Walton. It was a 2010 bike with 90 hours on it and the suspension wasn’t done, but I was able to ride it hard and win races with it.
What are you racing next year?
I want to race a 450 four-stroke and 250 two-stroke. I have only practiced on a 250, but I really like it. They have so much power, so I think it’s better to use than a 250 four-stroke. It’s lighter, faster and when I change from a 250 two-stroke to 450, it won’t be that difficult. Of course, if I receive support from a brand that doesn’t have a 250 two-stroke then I’ll race a four-stroke. I have as much fun riding a four-stroke too.
Your favourite track in Quebec?
I really like Ulverton. Deschambault also, but Ulverton has awesome elevation changes and different lines for passing people.
Do you plan to one day race in the US? Supercross?
Maybe some long term plans. Our focus right now is doing well in Canada, but part of my dream is living and racing in the US.
Do you miss the Montreal Supercross? It’s too bad we don’t have that event to look forward to anymore.
It’s not too far from my house, so we used to go to watch the pro race and my friends watched too. I got to race there in 2012 in the Super Mini class, and that was pretty cool being in front of thousands of people.
What’s school like and what grade are you in?
I am in high school right now, a private college. I am in my fourth grade of high school. It’s not my favourite part of life but I have good friends there .
Okay, before we let you go, give thanks to your sponsors from 2014.
For sure, thanks. Claude Ste-Marie Sport, One Industries, Motovan, Construction Julien Champigny, Oakley, X-Town, Gunk, Kutvek-Amerika, and D-Structure. And of course, my parents and family for their support and encouragement.